By Herald on December 11, 2020.
With the cancellation of the 26th Operation Red Nose this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Lethbridge Pronghorns athletics is taking another route to support its student-athletes.
To continue rewarding the outstanding academic achievements by Pronghorn Athletes, Operation Red Nose 2020 has shifted its focus towards soliciting donations for the Deb Steacy Academic All-Canadian Scholarship, a fund supplying each Pronghorn Academic All-Canadian with a $500 scholarship.
Over the past five years the number of Pronghorn Athletes that reach this prestigious honour has grown and a new record of 84 Academic All-Canadians for the 2019-20 year was just announced.
Since the inception of the Academic All-Canadian program in 1990, 1,219 Pronghorn varsity athletes have been named Academic All-Canadians.
“As a department we are definitely disappointed that we are unable to provide the Operation Red Nose service to the community,” said Pronghorn athletic director Neil Langevin in a statement. “Operation Red Nose gives us a great opportunity to give back to the community each year, while also generating operating dollars for each program.
“We felt that this was a good opportunity to highlight a scholarship that was named in honour of someone who Operation Red Nose was so near and dear to.”
Steacy, a mother of three Pronghorn alumni, was a staple in the Operation Red Nose program for many years, including taking the lead on volunteer scheduling and nightly operations from 2005 until 2014.
She passed away suddenly in the spring of 2014 and the scholarship was dedicated in her name the following fall.
The annual Operation Red Nose campaign is not only a service that allows the department and student-athletes to connect with the southern Alberta community, however it also provides a much-needed service during the holiday season with the proceeds from sponsorships and donations going directly towards Pronghorn teams.
On average, the program raises in the neighbourhood of $40,000 for operating costs of Pronghorn teams and over the past 25 years more than $810,000 has been raised through the designated driver program.
Pronghorn athletics plan to bring back the Operation Red Nose Campaign next holiday season.
Those interested in supporting and donating to the Deb Steacy Academic All-Canadian Scholarship can visit http://www.gohorns.ca and click on the Operation Red Nose link.