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‘SafeRide Ron’ continues offering free rides despite being robbed

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BEAVER DAM, Wis. (CBS 58) – It’s been two years since “SafeRide Ron”, a Dodge County man who volunteers to drive people home from bars, was robbed.

Despite that, he still offers rides.

CBS 58 caught up with Ron as we approach one of the biggest bar nights of the year.

“When they’re at a bar and they drink too much, they call me to get a safe ride home,” explains Ron Gafner.

He estimates he’s driven more than 1,000 people to their home in the five years he’s been a part of the program.

“Taxicab Confessions, I can put them to shame,” says Gafner jokingly.

While he can recall many unique stories from people he’s picked up, he also says he’s been robbed blind.

“It was just about this time last year, there was a blizzard,” says Gafner. “I felt sorry for him so I let him sleep on my sofa.”

The next morning his T.V., a car, and the man were gone.

The car was found in Milwaukee and an anonymous donor replaced his T.V.

But that hasn’t stopped Ron from answering a call any time of day.

“The penalties are so severe that it doesn’t make sense to drink and drive,” says Gafner.

As this is his busiest time of year, the 81-year-old says he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I would say 98% of the people are very appreciative and friendly,” says Gafner. “I just get them home and that’s the end of it.”

The program limits people to three calls a month. No matter the day or the hour Ron says he’s happy to help.

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