He’s known as Mr. Operation Red Nose in these parts, and for good reason.
Rick Watt has led the “safe drive home” service in the Quinte region for each of the 14
years of its existence.
And Sunday, at the official launch of the 2017 version of Operation Rednose, Watt
was inducted into the Red Nose Hall of Fame for his efforts and dedication.
Marie-Chantal Fortin, from Red Nose’s national office said Watt led one of the best Operation Red Nose operations in Canada, and although he wasn’t the type to step into the spotlight, everyone involved understood he stood out amongst the hundreds of volunteers who’ve served in the local Red Nose campaigns.
“He’s there every night of the campaign, holding it together, guiding the many volunteers. But what people don’t know is that he does countless hours throughout the year promoting the service to businesses and residents alike”.
Watt said he loved the challenge and said it was fun working with such a great group of volunteers. “Even if we just take one person home safely in a night, we’ve done something really important”.
Operation Red Nose offers free rides home for Christmas season revellers and their vehicles.
Also at today’s ceremony at the Belleville YMCA, last year’s honorary Co-Chairs, Belleville Councillors Garnett Thompson and Jack Miller placed bright red foam noses on this year’s Co-Chairs Jill Raycroft and Cory MacKay.
Raycroft is the Chief Executive Officer of the Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce while MacKay recently retired as Chief of the Belleville Police Service.
The new C0-Chairs both said they were honoured to head up such an important service.
MacKay said she and her husband enjoyed volunteering to drive in the past, as did Raycroft. They both intend to try and boost the number of volunteers for this year’s campaign.
Operation Red Nose Quinte will operate November 24 through December 31 inclusive.
Watt was congratulated by the Mayor of Belleville Taso Christopher, Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison, MP Neil Ellis, MPP Todd Smith, and David Allen of the YMCA of Central East Ontario.
Last year Operation Red Nose Quinte presented a cheque for over $31,000 to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Red Nose is looking for volunteers. Join online at rednosequinte.com or call 613-962-4334.