STRIPES gives its 100,000th ride

Saturday, March 5, 2011 | 6:04 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — On Oct. 4, 2001, STRIPES drove its first student home safely. Ten years later it celebrated a bigger accomplishment and a much bigger number.

The MU safe-ride service, STRIPES, gave its 100,000th ride Friday.

"It's a huge milestone for us," said Andrew Worrall, public relations manger for STRIPES.

Modeled after CARPOOL, Texas A&M's safe-ride program, STRIPES — or Supportive Tigers Riding in Pursuit of Ensuring Safety — is a student-run volunteer organization that provides safe rides free of charge to MU students and their guests. It runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Rides are provided on a first come, first served basis.   

While STRIPES services are available only to students, it looks to serve theColumbia community by reducing the number of drunken drivers on the roads.

"We want people to get home safe and protect the city of Columbia," Worrall said. "It's not just about students."

Two hundred members and 13 executives make up STRIPES. On average, STRIPES completes 250 rides a night. 

"We depend so much on our volunteers," Worrall said. "In total, student volunteers spend about 6,000 hours of their weekend each semester giving out safe rides."

STRIPES uses up to 12 rental cars from Avis to take students home. One night of operations costs $1,200, a bill footed by businesses such as Gumby's Pizza, Which Wich and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

"Without our sponsors this would not be possible," Worrall said.

After getting students home safely, STRIPES has a new mission. STRIPES kicks off its "$100,000 for 100,000 rides" campaign Wednesday. For a $5 donation, STRIPES will give each donor a shirt, provided by MU's Wellness Resource Center. STRIPES will be accepting donations from 11 a.m. to noon next to the bookstore in the MU Student Center.

The money raised will go toward a fund to ensure the financial future of the organization, Worrall said.

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