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Bend Elks Welcomed as One of the Family


Gatorade, water and carbs.

That’s what the Hovey family of Bend realized they needed a lot of when they started hosting Bend Elks baseball players nine years ago.

“We’ll meet our ninth player, and we were actually trying to figure out all the names of all the players we’ve hosted,” Cindy Hovey said Wednesday. “So we wrote them all down and put it in our family history.”

With seven kids of their own, they figured..why not make it a happy eight?

Making room is the most interesting part — and this year, perhaps the most emotional.

“This room was most recently occupied by my son Tyler, and last October, out of the blue, he says, ‘I’m thinking about joining the Marines,'” Cindy explained. “A month later, he was off. This was his room, and there’s his flag that flew over the capital.”

Cindy says it’s all bittersweet. But having an extra son, so to speak — even for just a few months — takes her mind off what would be an empty room.

And the biggest perk of playing host — the kids get an extra sibling.

“It’s a great because, it’s a great experience for our kids,” said Mark Hovey. “Our kids see somebody who’s got a goal, and they’re trying to attain it, and they’re pretty successful.”

With more than 40 players and around 20 host families, Elks’ officials say families like the Hoveys are vital to their team.

“People like the Hoveys are at every game — their son’s a bat boy, they are really getting involved,” said Elks’ Marketing Manager Caitlin Bjornstad. “So these guys know they actually care about what they are doing, and it’s a reciprocal relationship, which makes it really good.”

The Hoveys say they’ll continue to host players for as long as their house can stand it.

“We’re a big family, and so it’s nice to have this extended family out here,” Mark said. “In fact, we have a lot of other players that come from other teams and say we’ve got a good deal here. A very good deal.”

The Hoveys player this year is Cullen Hendrickson, an infielder who just finished his junior year at Seattle University. He’s joining the team — and the Hovey family — this weekend.

If you’re interested in becoming a host family, visit

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