WINNIPEG – One minute Operation Red Nose is there to pick you up, the next minute there’s a full-blown sing-along at the front door.
That description of a video posted on YouTube on New Year’s Day sums up what happened when Tyler Del Pino showed up at Josh Arason’s house as part of Operation Red Nose, which offers rides to people who have been drinking alcohol during the holidays.
“It just happened that the person standing in the doorway had a guitar and they asked if I played,” Del Pino said a week later. “I started playing and I just tried to think of a song that would get everybody singing right away.”
What Arason’s party didn’t know was Del Pino is a singer/songwriter/music producer, and what Del Pino didn’t know was he would be captured on video by a professional cameraman.
Global National cameraman Kurt Brownridge recorded the event on his iPhone (and later posted it on YouTube) while Arason, a shooter for Global Winnipeg, played along with Del Pino.
“I came down the stairs and heard them start playing,” said Arason, the second guitarist in the video.
He didn’t know the song but he’d already been jamming with a buddy, so he joined in.
“It just happened so naturally.”
Del Pino said serenading passengers wasn’t part of his plan for the evening, but as a singer-songwriter-music producer, it was just that – natural to take the opportunity.
“They just instantaneously handed me this guitar and said, ‘Yeah, it’s freshly tuned. Here you go.’ ”
It was his first time volunteering with Operation Red Nose, which not only offers a ride home, but has an extra driver to bring a partier’s vehicle home. Passengers’ donations go to youth sports programs.
This year, 2,319 volunteers provided rides to more than 3,900 people in Winnipeg, and $76,000 was raised.
“I’ve been thinking about volunteering for a little bit, so I just decided that this is the year I’m going to do it, and you know what? Legit, it was a fun night,” Del Pino said.
Operation Red Nose volunteer joins in the jam at a New Year’s Eve party.