Campus Life

Red Nose just one way U of L connects with southern Alberta

The University of Lethbridge is an indelible part of the southern Alberta community and there's no better time than the holiday season to celebrate that connection.

The University is connected to its community through a variety of programs, many of which are charitable in nature. One of its highest profile campaigns is the annual Operation Red Nose, which is a mutually beneficial program.

It's the 15th season for Operation Red Nose at the University of Lethbridge and the demand for their services continues to be on the upswing. That's good news for Pronghorn Athletics, who both administers and then reaps the benefits of the annual designated driving program.

"All of the money we get in from tips goes directly back to our teams and there are a number of different ways they use that money," says Sandy Slavin, executive director, Sport and Recreation Services. "Whether it's going on a training camp, supplementing their meal allowances, used for an exhibition tournament or getting extra gear for their players, it's all very beneficial."

Other initiatives through which the University supports the community include an annual United Way campaign; the recent MS Awareness Game Night that raised money for the local Multiple Sclerosis Society from ticket sales at a Pronghorn basketball game; the Chillin' for Charity event that raised more than $15,000 for the local United Way chapter; Faculty of Education students filling and donating backpacks to local area children in need; the annual YWCA Christmas hamper campaign that sees individual University units support local families in need with Christmas gifts and essentials; and the Sport and Recreation Services Sock and Mitten Drive for the local homeless shelter.

Operation Red Nose was created in 1984 in Quebec City, offering holiday revelers the opportunity to be driven home in their own vehicles, free of charge. It has become a holiday tradition, both for the volunteers who work the program and the many people in southern Alberta who use its services.

Operation Red Nose began Friday, Nov. 27 and runs each Thursday through Saturday night to Dec. 19. It then runs again on New Year's Eve. Volunteers wishing to take part in the program can e-mail Sandy Slavin at or call Pronghorn Athletics at 403-329-2681.