Free New Year’s Eve Liferides will once again be available in Delta County this year. Rides are available from 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31st, through 4 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1, and are offered in an effort to prevent alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities.
For 36 years, OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and generous community organizations have made it a priority to get community members home safely. The Liferides program was introduced in Delta County in 1983. New Year’s Eve was chosen because of its association with celebrations involving alcohol and the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities on that night, according to Lindsey Stearns, community relations coordinator at OSF St. Francis Hospital. Those who are in need of a ride can call The Data Bus, Delta Taxi, JN Taxi, or Escanaba Taxi and transportation charges will be covered by the Liferides program. For a free Liferide, call 786-1186 ext. 1., 280-8627, 786-1122, or 786-4448.
Since the Liferides program began, Stearns said there have been no alcohol-related traffic accidents or fatalities in Delta County on New Year’s Eve, 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 with friends and family rather than going out on the roads after they have been drinking.
Flyers are being distributed to local bars and restaurants with information regarding the Liferides so that phone numbers for a safe ride home are right at patrons’ finger tips. “Liferides is a program in which the whole community participates. By planning ahead and making sure people who have had too much to drink do not get behind a wheel, we can keep our highways safe and prevent tragedies,” said Dave Lord, President of OSF St. Francis. “The support from our community is and has always been tremendous.”
The Island Resort & Casino, Guardian Flight, AirMedCare Network, Escanaba Area Credit Unions, Delta County Communities that Care, Bay College, The Community Foundation of Delta County, Elmer’s County Market and the GFWC – Escanaba Woman’s Club are strong supporters of the Liferides program and make it possible for transportation to remain free on New Year’s Eve in 2019.
Tax-deductible donations to support Liferides may be sent to OSF St. Francis Hospital at 3401 Ludington St., Escanaba. Checks should be made payable to OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and designated for Liferides. You can find more information about Liferides at www.osfstfrancis.org/events or search for “Liferides” on Facebook.