By Ron VandenBoom
A visit from family or friends can mean a lot to someone in the hospital, CDC, Eagles Manor, or retirement home, at this time of the year.
The Havre Super 8 Motel is helping to spread holiday cheer by offering free accommodations on Christmas Eve to out-of-town friends or relatives of patients in nearby nursing homes, hospitals, or treatment centers.
The program, known as "Rooms at the Inn" is in its 9th year of operation and nation wide donates nearly 1,000 rooms annually to the cause.
David Evans, manager of the Havre Super 8, said he is "real happy" with the program and believes it serves a valuable service.
He added in past years the Havre Super 8 has accommodated only five or six visitors each year through the program with some of them being repeat customers who have taken advantage of the program before.
"They know the program exists and it might be the only reason they can afford to make the trip is knowing they will not have to pay for their room," he said.
Evans added that he would "like to see as many people as possible participate in the program."
The Idea for "Rooms at the Inn" began in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1987 when after suffering several family tragedies during the holiday season Linda Aamold and Gary Tharadlson decided to turn "a negative into a positive."
"Christmas and Thanksgiving were associated with a lot of bad memories for us," said Linda Aamold Tharadison.
The idea that started in Fargo was adopted nation wide in 1990 and today approximately 500 Super 8's throughout the United States and Canada donate rooms to Christmas Eve travelers.
Advanced registration is not required but is recommended.
Reservations can be made by calling the Havre Supper 8 Motel at 265-1411, or through the companies toll-free reservation center at 1-800-800-8000.