Clemson Athletics Wins 2021 Operation Hat Trick Excellence In Service Award
HAMPTON, N.H. – Clemson University and Clemson Athletics have been named a Finalist of the 2021 Operation Hat Trick (OHT) Excellence in Service Award. OHT is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans. The group presents the award annually, and Clemson has earned recognition in each of the past four years for outstanding efforts in aiding the recovery of wounded U.S. combat service members.
In recognition of the school’s impact, OHT will make a $20,000 donation to Purple Heart Homes Golden Corner Chapter on the University’s behalf. Operation Hat Trick Founder and President Dot Sheehan presented the Excellence in Service Award on May 25 via Zoom call.
Clemson was one of seven finalists that included Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, George Mason University, North Dakota State University, Utah State University, and Western Michigan University. The finalists were chosen based on their efforts to fully integrate OHT on and off their campuses through a presence in their bookstores and other retail outlets; promoting veterans’ causes through their social media properties and advertising campaigns; and generating additional revenue that will be used to support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans.
“I am very proud of what Clemson has done to support Operation Hat Trick and veterans who have been wounded, and are now recovering from invisible and visible injuries,” said Dot Sheehan, Founder and CEO of Operation Hat Trick. “Despite a year of challenges, Clemson has shown not only a commitment to support OHT but also a commitment to support their local community, which is so critical. We at OHT are honored and proud to partner with Clemson.”
In 2021, Clemson focused its efforts on the military heritage as well as the dedication to making sure veterans felt included and celebrated during the ongoing pandemic.
For over six years, Clemson has recognized a hero of the game for each home football game. Due to COVID-19, all recognitions were forced to become virtual rather than being recognized on the field inside of Death Valley. The department was able to highlight our heroes overseas that, in a normal year, would not be able to attend in person. Each hero was sent an OHT box full of gear as a way to thank them for the service and sacrifice to our country.
In 2019, Clemson was heavily involved in the initiative and named a co-winner, including building awareness and becoming the largest driver of OHT apparel in the nation. For 2020, the focus was on storytelling and many of the initiatives of our heroes with Military ties.
“It’s always special to be able to recognize our troops, but this year was especially important as we all navigated the pandemic,” said Mike Money, Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing. “We take a great deal of pride in honoring Clemson’s Military Heritage through our partnership with OHT and its licensing partners. This year, we made sure to pay extra attention to our heroes who have sacrificed so much for us. Finally, we want to thank all of retailers in and around the Clemson area, as well as thank our partners at Fanatics in support of the Clemson-OHT program.”
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 advertising campaigns; and generating additional revenue that will be used to support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans.
Clemson’s efforts generated thousands of dollars in donations to help veterans recover from the visible and invisible injuries suffered in combat.
A portion of each sale of OHT branded merchandise is donated to select organizations that support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. 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 Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Veterans Count, the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Travis Mills Foundation, Liberty House, Project Sanctuary, Semper Fi Fund and the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
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.