University of South Carolina named a finalist for first Operation Hat Trick award for commitment to improving injured U.S. veterans’ lives

HAMPTON, N.H., May 17, 2016 – Operation Hat Trick, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans, has recognized the University of South Carolina’s outstanding efforts in generating awareness and support for the recovery of wounded U.S. combat veterans by naming the school as a finalist for its first Excellence in Service Award. In addition to the award, Operation Hat Trick will make a donation to Hidden Wounds on the University’s behalf. www.hiddenwounds.org

Operation Hat Trick (OHT) donates a portion of each sale of OHT branded merchandise to those selected organizations that support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. The University of South Carolina has demonstrated its commitment to supporting veterans by generating sales of branded merchandise and promoting Operation Hat Trick at sporting events and through its social media channels.

South Carolina helped OHT fund veterans’ organizations by prominently displaying OHT products in its own retail locations and encouraging retailers who carry the university’s merchandise to do the same. It also promoted OHT to its social media followers, raising awareness of veterans’ issues. Combined, the university’s efforts generated thousands of dollars in donations to help veterans recover from the visible and invisible injuries suffered in combat.

Operation Hat Trick Founder and President Dot Sheehan presented the Excellence in Service Award on May 17 at the Collegiate Licensing Company Annual Seminar in Atlanta.

“The University of South Carolina has shown the kind of commitment to our veterans that 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.”

South Carolina was one of four finalists that included the University of Alabama, Michigan State University, and Fresno State University. The finalists were chosen based on their efforts to fully integrate

OHT on their campuses through a presence in their bookstores and other retail outlets; promoting veterans’ causes through their social media properties; and helping generate sales to finance donations.

Operation Hat Trick is dedicated to American service members as they recover from the visible and invisible wounds of war and move past the traumas of battle so they can focus on their lives and families at home.

Through the sale of branded merchandise and member donations, Operation Hat Trick donations have helped dozens of organizations that provide direct services and support to wounded service members and veterans. They include: Project Sanctuary, The Yellow Ribbon Fund, Easter Seals/Veterans Count, the Navy SEAL Foundation Semper Fi Fund, the Warrior Bonfire Project, Liberty House, Ironstone Farm, Mac-v Veterans Alliance, Homes for Our Troops, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The non-profit organization has partnered with hundreds of sports teams, including more than 270 universities and colleges, 130 high schools, 21 National Hockey League teams, more than 70 Minor League Baseball teams, and over 50 companies.

About the University of South Carolina
Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System and offers more than 350 programs of study, leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from 14 degree-granting colleges and schools. The University of South Carolina has an enrollment of more than 34,000 students on the main Columbia campus as of fall 2015. Professional schools on the Columbia campus include business, engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, and social work. For more information, please visit www.sc.edu.

About The Collegiate Licensing Company
The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the trademark licensing affiliate company of IMG College, has been the leader in connecting passionate college fans to their favorite college brands for more than three decades. CLC represents nearly 200 of the nation’s top colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, the Heisman Trophy, and the NCAA. The collegiate partners that entrust CLC to protect, promote, and grow their brands comprise nearly 80% of the $4.6 billion retail market for collegiate licensed merchandise. For more information please visit www.clc.com.

About Operation Hat Trick
OHT generates awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded service members and veterans. OHT pursues these goals through the sale of OHT branded merchandise, proceeds of which are distributed to selected organizations supporting the OHT mission.

For more information, to give on line or to purchase OHT apparel and merchandise, visit www.operationhattrick.org.47 Brand (www.47brand.com) and The Collegiate Licensing Company (www.clc.com) are the exclusive headwear and licensing partners of Operation Hat Trick.