Although the number of Abbotsford-Mission Operation Red Nose volunteers was down this year, donations to the holiday designated driving service were up.
Overall ORN had a successful season with volunteers covering 20,667 kilometres and providing a total of 768 safe rides home to the Abbotsford-Mission area, said Christine Scott, communication co-ordinator for PacificSport Fraser Valley.
Although Operation Red Nose is free of charge, it is the primary annual fundraiser for PacificSport Fraser Valley, which has run the ser-vice for 17 years.
Half of any donations from clients who use the service go to develop young athletes in the form of travel and performance grants.
The remainder is used to develop and deliver sport programs and services in the Fraser Valley region.
This year ORN donations totalled $16,481, said Scott.
"In terms of donations collected, we were pleasantly surprised to see an increase by 10.5 per cent over the 2011 total," she said.
Due to a drop in the number of volunteers, ORN rides delivered was down 7 per cent compared to 2011.
However, as many as 40 per cent of the volunteers this season were new and hopefully will return again to help out ORN next year, said Scott.
"We are ever grateful to the support of the wonderful volunteers who work long shifts to help increase the safety of our community roadways," she said. Program partners and business sponsors are also invaluable to minimize the costs associated with running ORN each holiday season, she added.