"To have the University of Arizona support your Fisher House... that's pretty cool," Tucson Fisher House Manager Kelly Laurich said.
The Tucson Fisher House, a comfort home for veteran families with a loved one getting care at the VA hospital nearby, receives a portion of the proceeds from Operation Hat Trick. Operation Hat Trick is a nationwide organization that fundraises using university logos to help fill in the gaps of care for wounded and recovering veterans. The University of Arizona has received the OHT Excellence in Service Award for two consecutive years, recognizing their support of local military and veterans. Both years the Tucson Fisher House has been the award beneficiary.
Alixe Holcomb, University of Arizona director of Trademarks and Licensing, explained the campus is also ranked as a top veteran-serving institution by the Military Times.
"Since 2018 we have fundraised over $30,000 for the Fisher House," Holcomb said. “This year, OHT will donate another $15,000 to Fisher House on behalf of the university.”
The university teams up with Operation Hat trick by selling co-branded military-themed merchandise. A portion of the proceeds generates awareness and support for the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. It is one of the highlights of the University of Arizona football season. Holcomb says many people are looking forward to the 2021 football season because the university was unable to host games last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Arizona Wildcat community embraces its close ties to the military. Aircraft fly swiftly over the campus as they lift off from Davis Monthan Air Force Base. And the Army’s Fort Huachuca is just miles down the road. On campus, there is a memorial near its center dedicated to the 1,177 marines and sailors who lost their lives during the Pearl Harbor bombing. Each name is honored with a plaque spanning an entire wall shaped like the battleship. The bell tower nearby, home to one of the bells that was salvaged from the ship, commemorates their sacrifice.