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Personal connections throughout the organization aren’t just some cliché aspect of the Knights. Christmas dinners with the big London family are an annual tradition, and Noah, the Tookes’ 13-year-old son is always welcome in the locker room.

Scott Tooke said the Hunters “will do anything for you.”

“I don’t know what other organizations are, but it’s like a big family,” Gale Tooke said. “We know Dale and Mark personally, my son knows them, my son’s around the dressing room. They welcome that kind of thing. They’re great, great people. … They always make sure that you’re comfortable and everything’s going good.”

Murray and Stephanie Saunders have three children now, including one son they adopted. Their first two were girls, and so when they were trying to adopt a boy, a question came up that was answered by the Saunders’ time as a host family.

“When we were at the court case, the judge says, ‘Oh this is your first brother.’ she’s like, ‘No, I already have five brothers, ‘” Murray recalled. “She sees them all as her older brothers.”

It’s like an ever-expanding family. Gale Tooke enjoys it when guys like Bolland and Del Zotto come back to visit, and she tries to watch as many of their NHL games as she can.

“We formed a lot of relationships over the years and kept in touch with a lot of the families. Obviously, all the players we keep in touch with on a regular basis,” Scott Tooke said. “Some of those guys are playing pro; some of them aren’t, so they’re kind of scattered all over. It’s almost like they’re part of your family and you don’t forget about them.”