Hat Tricks nearing $2,500 raised for ALS Association through John Oliver shirt sales

by Casey Bryant

The Danbury Hat Tricks' John Oliver-themed shirt campaign has raised nearly $2,500 for the ALS Association Connecticut Chapter, as announced in a Youtube video released to their channel Tuesday night.

In the six months since the Hat Tricks' viral faux-feud with HBO's Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, the team has been selling novelty shirts featuring a Hat Tricks logo edited to sport Oliver's signature glasses-combover look. The shirts promoted the "Dick Pants Danbury Fan Club," a joke stemming from the Hat Tricks' Youtube responses poking fun both at Oliver's mock-hatred of Danbury and his character's name in Mike Myers' ill-received 2008 comedy, The Love Guru.

Director of Communications Casey Bryant explained the team has sold 776 shirts, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the ALS Association. Bryant, the team's play-by-play broadcaster who was featured on Oliver's HBO show last summer for his Youtube response videos, has championed ALS research fundraising in honor of his family.

"I come from a C9 family," Bryant says in the latest video update, identifying the C9 genetic mutation passed down through his family. "My uncle passed from it a few years ago. My aunt is currently in the fight."

Bryant goes on to detail the spike in donations to the ALS Association Connecticut Chapter, as well as regional chapters around the country. Bill and Jim Diamond, owners of Danbury Arena, personally donated $2,000 to the Connecticut chapter this past fall. Individual donations from fans of the Youtube exchange have surpassed $1,000 total. 

Plus, Oliver donated $5,000 to the ALS Association Connecticut Chapter as part of his charitable spree following the renaming of Danbury's John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant. With opportunities to hold large-scale public fundraisers still limited by the global pandemic, the donations have made a significant impact for the chapter.

"The fight against ALS is brutal, and finding a cure has been a real uphill battle," Bryant laments. "Think about how long it's been since Lou Gehrig died...we're only just now seeing scientific progress, and that comes from funding."

The Hat Tricks will be giving away special edition orange "Dick Pants Danbury Fan Club" hoodies to subscribers to their Youtube channel to mark the 6-month anniversary of the Sewer Plant saga. Over 1.6 million people have viewed the Hat Tricks' multi-part exchange with John Oliver on the team's Youtube channel.

About the Danbury Hat Tricks

The Danbury Hat Tricks are currently awaiting government approval to enter their second Federal Prospects Hockey League season. They clinched the 2019-20 Eastern Division title in their inaugural campaign, boasting the league's Forward of the Year (Carter Shinkaruk), Defender of the Year (Aaron Atwell), Goaltender of the Year (Tom McGuckin), Coach of the Year (Billy McCreary) and Broadcasters of the Year (Casey Bryant, Jack O'Marra, Zak McGinniss). The team is based out of Danbury Arena, and is also affiliated with the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the Tier-II North American Hockey League and Tier-III NA3HL.