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Connetquot Donates To Operation Hat Drop

Pictured: Members of the Connetquot school and Suffolk County communities donated to Anthony D’Alessandro’s initiative Operation Hat Drop by bringing bags of hats to Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School.

Photos courtesy of Connetquot Central School District

Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School and Connetquot High School joined forces to collect hats for Operation Hat Drop, an initiative started by kindergartner Anthony D’Alessandro to collect hats for those with an autoimmune disease or who suffer from hair loss.

Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School teacher Rob Burger first came across Operation Hat Drop in a newspaper article. He read about Anthony D’Alessandro, a young boy from Massapequa who suffers from alopecia and who began collecting hats for children who also have an autoimmune disease.

Connetquot Donates To Operation Hat Drop

From left, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School student Olivia Ekezian and teacher Rob Burger posed with Anthony D’Alessandro of Operation Hat Drop.

Mr. Burger thought it would be a great opportunity to bring Anthony’s initiative to Connetquot, reaching out to Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School’s community service club and several Connetquot High School groups to coordinate club efforts there. From his initial outreach, students excitedly got to work, collecting hats.

One of Mr. Burger’s students, Olivia Ekezian, became very involved in the drive and took it upon herself to reach out to several branches of police and several local groups for their support.

Connetquot Donates To Operation Hat Drop

Operation Hat Drop’s Anthony D’Alessandro posed with the members of the NYPD’s women’s lacrosse and hockey club and their donation of hats.

Olivia and the club’s efforts paid off as members from the Suffolk County Police Department’s K9 unit, emergency services unit, the fifth precinct and the Police Benevolent Association as well as members from the NYPD women’s lacrosse team, NYPD men’s hockey team, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and Community Ambulance Company all gathered at the middle school to show their support on Feb. 8. With Anthony and his father in attendance, each group was able to meet with Anthony one-on-one and give their sizable hat donations.

Connetquot Donates To Operation Hat Drop

Connetquot High School students collected hats for Operation Hat Drop and made cards with encouraging words of support to go along with their donations.

At the high school, the efforts continued with the Business Honor Society, class of 2027, the Connetquot Civic Club and Connetquot Softball all collecting hats. By Feb. 16, students had collected 74 hats in total. To go along with the generous donation, each student also wrote a card with encouraging words of support.

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