Arizona, Clemson, South Florida and Utah State Win 2019 Operation Hat Trick Excellence in Service Honors

HAMPTON, NH, May 22, 2019 - Operation Hat Trick (OHT), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans, has recognized four Universities for their outstanding efforts in aiding the recovery of wounded U.S. combat service members and veterans by naming the schools as winners and finalists for its 2019 Excellence in Service Award. In recognition of the school’s commitment to OHT.

This year’s two co-winners are The University of Arizona and Clemson University. The two finalists are The University of South Florida and Utah State University. 

The four winners of this year’s Awards demonstrated their commitment to supporting veterans by generating significant sales of branded merchandise and promoting Operation Hat Trick on campus, at retail, in their communities and through their social media, advertising and marketing campaigns.

OHT will make donations on each school’s behalf to the following organizations:

The University of Arizona – fisherhouse.org

Clemson University -  purplehearthomesusa.org

The University of South Florida - guidedogs.org

Utah State University -  cachevalleyveterans.org

The University of Arizona, with its rich military history, not only makes donations to The Fisher House, this season they are looking to have Arizona Football student athletes complete their community service hours with the Fisher House.

“We’re incredibly proud to be part of OHT and partner our brand with such an important mission. The Fisher House on the historic Tucson VA campus is the only Fisher House in the state, they are a home away from home for families while their veteran family member receives treatment at the VA hospital.  It’s rewarding to know our efforts impact local military families during a different time in their life.” – Alixe Holcomb, Director of Trademarks & Licensing.

Clemson University’s Licensing Department is housed in the Clemson Athletic Department and is managed by Tim Match, Associate Director of External Affairs for Clemson Athletics. Clemson Athletics is honored to partner with Tom von Kaenel, the President of Purple Heart Homes, Golden Corner Chapter.

“Clemson has shown the kind of commitment to our veterans we’re hoping to inspire all over the country,” Sheehan said. “Raising funds is a critical part of meeting their needs, but just as important is raising awareness of their struggles so we never forget our obligation to help them overcome their injuries and enjoy full lives.”

The University of South Florida’s (USF) promotion efforts began on Oct. 31, 2018, leading up to Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2018. USF supported a social media campaign with collaboration between its Communications & Marketing department, Athletics department, and Alumni Association on a multitude of social media channels. During their “Salute to Service” football game versus Tulane University, an OHT informational video was played pre-game and at halftime. USF also worked with its campus bookstore to have OHT & USF co-branded gear available for purchase along with providing retail signage to promote the program.

“The University of South Florida was excited to take part in Operation Hat Trick and honored to be able to use our platform to help make a difference in the lives of wounded and recovering service members and veterans. With MacDill Air Force Base located in Tampa and the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital located across the street from campus, we have long felt a strong connection to the military and veterans and tremendous respect for the sacrifices they make. We were thrilled to join the Operation Hat Trick family.” said Meredith Scerba, Senior Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs, University of South Florida Athletics.

Utah State University has partnered with the Cache Valley Veterans Association for the past two years, with OHT providing a natural link between the two organizations. CVVA provides an invaluable service to local veterans, including university students, staff, and faculty, and USU looks to continue the successful partnership in order to assist and provide for these important members of the community. USU’s Trademark and Licensing Program works closely with OHT in its annual Salute to Service game with proceeds benefiting CVVA and OHT.

“Utah State University is proud to support Operation Hat Trick and its efforts to assist the recovery of wounded service members and veterans,” said Heidi Adams, trademark licensing director at USU. “Our Aggie family is honored to be a part of the OHT family as it helps fill the critical gaps in care for our wounded and recovering service members.”

About Operation Hat Trick

OHT generates awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded service members and veterans. The organization pursues these goals through the sale of OHT branded merchandise, proceeds of which are distributed to selected organizations supporting the OHT mission. Operation Hat Trick is supported by more than 400 universities and colleges, 130 high schools, 21 National Hockey League teams, 15 NBA teams, more than 80 Minor League Baseball teams, and over 90 companies. For more information, to give online or to purchase OHT apparel and merchandise, visit www.operationhattrick.org.  To receive their newsletter, text OHTBriefing to 22828.