Free New Year’s Eve ‘Liferides’ will once again be available in Delta County this year. Rides are available from 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, through 5 a.m. on Friday, January 1st, and are offered in an effort to prevent alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities.
This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the ‘Liferides’ program, sponsored by OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and the Island Resort & Casino. The ‘Liferides’ program was introduced in Delta County in 1983. New Year’s Eve was chosen because of its association with parties and celebrations involving alcohol and the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities on that night, according to Kacie Hanchek, community relations & development manager at OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group. DATA Bus, JN Taxi and Escanaba Taxi will be offering rides throughout Delta County. For a free ‘Liferide,’ call DATA at 786-1186, Escanaba Taxi at 786-4448 or JN Taxi 786-1122.
Since the ‘Liferides’ program began, Hanchek said there have been no alcohol-related traffic accidents or fatalities in Delta County, a trend she hopes will continue this year. In addition to taking advantage of the free ‘Liferides’ program, she said many people plan ahead by choosing a designated driver or make plans to stay at a hotel or motel or with friends and family rather than going out on the roads if they’ve been drinking.
“Much credit also goes to local law enforcement officials, whose zero tolerance for drunk driving help keep the community’s roads safe all year long, said Vicki Griggs, special services manager for the Island Resort & Casino. ‘Liferides’ is a program in which the whole community participates. By planning ahead and making sure people who’ve had too much to drink do not get behind a wheel, we can keep our highways safe and prevent tragedies,” she said.
The ‘Liferides’ program is also supported this year by Escanaba area credit unions, Baybank, Community Foundation for Delta County, Rotary Club of Escanaba, Edward J. Sackerson Foundation, Escanaba Kiwanis Club, Skradski Family Funeral Homes, GFWC Escanaba Woman’s Club and the Substance Abuse & Violence Education Council for Delta County. Tax-deductible donations to support ‘Liferides’ may be sent to the OSF Foundation at 3401 Ludington St., Escanaba. Checks should be made payable to the OSF Foundation and designated for ‘Liferides.’