Sean Gilleran: There’s room, and compassion, at the inn | TheUnion.com

Sean Gilleran: There’s room, and compassion, at the inn

Sean Gilleran
Other Voices

There's room at the inn this holiday season. In fact, there are several rooms and Gold Miners Inn is giving them away.

Free overnight stays at our boutique hotel are being offered in random drawings to those who donate to charity fundraisers here at the hotel.

Donate an unwrapped gift in the Toys for Tots box in our lobby, give your name and number to the front desk so we can contact you if you win, and you're entered in the drawing. Deposit a gently-used coat in the nearby Salvation Army box, and enter another drawing.

Two prizes will be awarded in each of the two drawings; there are four chances to win.

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The grand prize in each drawing is an overnight stay for two in an executive king suite, complete with evening cocktails and a hot morning breakfast. The second prize in both contests is breakfast for six at our sumptuous hot breakfast buffet.

It's our way of giving back to those who give. We've already emptied and refilled the Toys for Tots box several times! We are so thankful for the generosity of local residents as well as hotel guests.

There is yet another chance to help others during this holiday season. One of our six Christmas trees at the hotel is decorated with ornaments picturing dogs and cat awaiting adoption at Sammie's Friends. Listed on the back of each ornament are items the pet needs, such as food, a bed, donations for medical treatments, etc.

Drop donations in the box under that special Christmas tree, and we'll ensure your donations are delivered to Sammie's Friends' McCourtney Road location.

Please indulge me as I have two stories I'd like to share, and both involve heartwarming letters.

One note is from a family forced to evacuate their home in Paradise as the destructive Camp Fire approached. They stayed with us for 17 days.

"I don't know how to thank your whole staff for the continually warm and kind manner with which you treated us. We feel we were part of your family and there were so many individual gestures to all of us.

"When we arrived we believed our home had burned and we didn't know differently for a couple of days. We were blessed to drive by your inn and find out you had a canceled room for us. It was only for a few days but you kept helping us to extend our visit.

"So thank you … we appreciate you all so much …"

The other letter with a back story is from a gentleman who wrote a note to "Camp Fire Survivors," in which he shared his own tale of sorrow and hope.

A member of his family suffered a medical emergency which required an extended hospital stay. Friends realized arranging hotel accommodations near the hospital should be the last worry on the family's mind and took care of that issue.

That's what prompted the man and his family to pay for the room of another family forced to flee the Camp Fire. They also left a note of encouragement.

"So I simply urge you to please remember that no matter what, you are stronger than the situation you face and that you can overcome anything with the support of your family, friends, and your community."

Thank you for allowing me to share these moving stories of hope and resilience. The Gold Miners Inn is pleased to be a part of our loving, generous community. All of us here at the hotel wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

Sean Gilleran is general manager of the Gold Miners Inn in Grass Valley.

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