The Operation Red Nose organizing committee distributed to money raised from its 2011 designated driver campaign to seven organizations on June 15, doling out more than $11,000 after having the most successful holiday season seven in Thompson last December.
Donations of $3,000 each went to Our Home Kikinaw and Albert's Fund, a partnership with NCN Child and Family Services to purchase needed items for children in care. The fund is named for long-time Operation Red Nose volunteer Albert Cater.
The Rotary Park committee and the Society of Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD) each received $1,500, the latter receiving the money in memory of a long-time volunteer dispatcher with Operation Red Nose.
Contributions of $1,000 went to the Thompson Air Cadets and the Wapanohk Breakfast Program, while the Thompson Boys & Girls Club received $500.
"Our busiest night was New Year's Eve," said Red Nose organizing committee member Carol Pelton, noting that there were 399 rides given, $7,000 in donations received and 168 volunteer spots filled this year, more than in any year since Operation Red Nose began in Thompson in 1998. "We also had four nights where we did more than 40 rides."
The program has grown steadily over the past five years, Pelton said.
"In the first five years of driving, we raised just under $6,300, doing 754 rides with 521 volunteers spots filled. In the last five years, we raised $21,657.70, doing 1,307 rides and had 632 volunteer spots filled."
In addition to the volunteers, said Pelton, the program is also thankful to all its sponsors.
"We could not help to keep the community safer without every single bit of support that we receive.
Groups who would like to receive funding from Thompson's Operation Red Nose must fill out an application. Applications for the 2012 campaign will be distributed in the fall.