The Thompson Operation Red Nose volunteer designated driving committee donated nearly $12,000 to various community groups at the end of January.
The money came from donations provided by clients who had the volunteers drive them home in their own cars and from their operations fund provided by the provincial Operation Red Nose organization.
The peewee A Thompson King Miners received $4,850, Born to Dance $2,250, the Thompson Air Cadets $1,850, Northern Manitoba Paws in Need $950 and TNT Swim Club and the Ma-Mow We-Tak Friendship Centre $250 each.
Donations of $500 were made to the Albert Cater Fund, the Troy Anand Fund and the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, as they are every year.
“What groups receive is a direct reflection of the amount of volunteer hours put in,” said Thompson Operation Red Nose committee president Nelly Duarte.
Donations from sponsors also help the committee to distribute more money.
“Because we get so many donations in town including food and gas and prizes we were able to distribute as much money as we did,” said Duarte, despite the fact that donations from users of the service dropped from $9,364 in 2017 to $6,155 this past December.
“We also encourage more groups to apply next year,” said Duarte. “We definitely want to help more people out. People can feel free to ask us … if they’re not sure they’re eligible. We do everything to include as many people as we can.”