Boyd Gaming team member at Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa, Joshua Hickey, is a talented athlete and a dedicated volunteer who gives his all to his community, sports and his job.
Hickey started competing with the Special Olympics in middle school. Twenty years later, he still competes in various sports, including bowling, basketball, volleyball, track and field and golf events on the local, regional and national levels.
“I love being a part of the Special Olympics,” said Hickey. “It keeps me in shape and promotes healthy living.”
Of all of his fantastic experiences, one stands above all the rest (so far, at least): when he carried the torch into the national games opening ceremony in Seattle, Washington last year.
“Special Olympics is a family tradition for us,” explained Hickey.
Not only are his brothers, Shannon and Nick, athletes, his parents, Mike and Sue Hickey, are fervent advocates for the games and finding facilities for athletes to train and compete. They coach 34 athletes on the Dubuque team.
The Hickey Family’s efforts were recognized in May with the Iowa Special Olympics Family of the Year Award. “I loved that the award came on the same month as their 40th wedding anniversary,” said Hickey. “It was a celebration of their commitment to each other as well as the Special Olympics.”
When Hickey isn’t working or training, you can usually find him working with a local community organization, including the Sons of the American Legion and Lions Club. A member of the latter for the last seven years, Hickey has loved working with non-profits to get eyeglasses and hearing aids to children in need.
His devoted service to his community was recognized at a Lions Club of Iowa convention earlier this year. His home club in Dubuque nominated Hickey for the Warren Coleman Honorary Award for his dedication to the organization and the Dubuque community.
“I was sitting there, so proud to have Diamond Jo’s Vice President and General Manager Wendy Runde speaking at the event,” Josh recalls. “And then she finished her speech by calling me up to give me an award. Wow! I was so surprised, and the plaque is really neat!”
Runde was proud to be a part of Hickey’s award ceremony at the Lions Club of Iowa convention.
"The room was exploding with pride that day! In this day and age, community involvement from the masses in the workplace is tough. Life seems busier and people seem busier these days, but when Diamond Jo makes a commitment to support a cause or local organization, you can bet Josh Hickey is there to help represent us,” said Runde. “Josh has a heart of gold; he seizes every opportunity he gets to give back. He is an absolute treasure, and what an emotional and inspiring experience to be a part of helping him to celebrate his special honor! Congrats Josh, well deserved my friend!”
Hickey encourages his fellow Boyd Gaming team members to do more for their communities.
“When you get out there and volunteer, you can really make a difference in your community,” said Hickey. “You’ll also know your efforts are appreciated. The more you give back, the better.”