By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — They don’t just excel on the playing field or basketball court, these students also win big with community service and helping others.
Members of the Londonderry High School Athletic Leadership Council are participating in Operation Hat Trick, a mission to sell logo baseball hats to support veterans’ charities and programs.
Operation Hat Trick was founded at the University of New Hampshire to generate awareness and support to the nation’s veterans and wounded warriors.
The project is in memory of Nate Hardy, son of a UNH professor who was killed while serving in Iraq, and Mike Koch, also killed with Hardy in Iraq.
Students say this is part of a long list of community projects they like to support.
“We do a lot,” senior Tianna Federico said.
Students who are members of the leadership group have to have certain qualifications, according to teacher Crystal Rich.
Rich oversees the group and coaches varsity softball.
Those chosen for the group had to apply, be recommended by teachers and coaches, and be successful in the classroom as well as on the playing field.
In addition to Operation Hat Trick, the group also organizes a Penguin Plunge team to support Special Olympics. They also raised more than $5,000 for autism awareness.
Operation Hat Trick has grown beyond New Hampshire and is now a national effort.
For every two hats sold, one will be donated to a veteran.
Hats cost $15 and fit all sizes. Orders will be taken until Dec. 20 and hats will be delivered in the spring. Order forms are available through the high school office.
On May 14, all high school spring athletes around the state will wear their hats during their scheduled games.
Rich said she is proud of her athletes.
“They are essentially the honor society of athletics,” she said.