Operation Red Nose (ORN) 2023 has wrapped up for the St. Malo branch. 

Charmaine Gosselin says the weather throughout the season was fantastic. 

“I think we had one night where we thought, ‘Should we have this many teams out on the road?’ So we let the volunteers decide and it was one of those icy, windy kind of nights. But otherwise, probably the most ideal year to be volunteering with Operation Red Nose was this year.” 

Gosselin says in past years, they would have a few nights where they would consider canceling as there were concerns about weather, but this year it felt like -5 was one of the worst nights. 

This year, weather was not something driving teams had to worry about throughout the night. 

“Really dressing warm wasn't even a thing, you didn't need to wear your big boots and ski pants. What a treat this year we had with weather.” 

With people not staying home due to weather conditions, ORN St. Malo was busy all season long. 

They gave out 220 rides this year, which Gosselin says is about 50 more than last year.  

“And we brought 420 people home, so that makes us feel warm inside knowing that 420 people in our massive area we're able to get home safely this year,” she says. “We had a great year and it surpassed last year, so thank you to the folks who called us to get a ride home, and what an amazing thing you're doing, keeping our roads safe.” 

This year volunteers were not only stepping up to volunteer ride night, but they were also able to give back to a nonprofit of their choice with donations from people using the service.  

“We're still tallying up the final numbers, but we've got almost 20 nonprofits that are receiving the ride night donations. And so $6,270 will be divided up into 19 nonprofits chosen by our volunteers,” she says. “And so that gave an incentive to volunteers to know, ‘Not only am I giving my time, I'm giving back to a nonprofit that really needs the money right now.’” 

On average, they were able to have almost five teams a night. 

She says it’s amazing to be a part of an organization focused on getting people home safely. 

“I'm not alone, we're a massive group of folks who are putting this campaign together. And remember, there are 10 hosts in Manitoba, so not only is St. Malo offering Red Nose rides, not only is La Broquerie doing this, but there are eight other hosts.”  

Gosselin is very grateful for all of the volunteers who made this possible. 

“There's a lot of people who have this mindset of keeping our roads safe, bringing people home. We are a committee of five people, but then there are like 20 others who are helping us behind the scenes.”  

In total, they needed 200 people to put this campaign together. 

“So that includes the ride teams, dispatchers, all the behind the scenes stuff, setting up headquarters. So 200 people is a massive crew of folks, and I'm just so grateful that everyone is pitching in their time and putting this on.” 


With files from Carly Koop