El Dorado native Joe Hickman to be honored by Boys and Girls Club; Dallas Cowboys chief Jerry Jones to highlight induction banquet
By TIM KESSLER News-Times Staff
El Dorado native Joe Hickman will be inducted into the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado’s Hall of Fame, with Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones highlighting the induction banquet.
The banquet will be held at the El Dorado Golf and Country Club on Nov. 3, with a reception to begin at 6 p.m. and the banquet at 7 p.m. The next day, the El Dorado Wildcats, "2009 State Champions" play Pine Bluff and the Dallas Cowboys Experience — consisting of two 18-wheelers full of Dallas Cowboys memorabilia — will be open to the public all day long in front of the Boys and Girls Club.
The announcement was made Wednesday during a news conference at the Boys and Girls Club. At tending the press conference were Linda Sweeney, Hickman’s mother; Matthew Shepherd, president of the Boys and Girls Club’s Alumni Association; David Wetherington, Boys and Girls Club executive director; Scott Fife, Boys and Girls Club president; Will Vance, Boys and Girls Club board member and Alumni Association board member; and Reggie Thomas, Boys and Girls Club board member. Shepherd said the alumni board voted Hickman in as the 14 th Hall of Fame inductee. Hickman serves as general manager of Blue Star Land LP, the investment arm of the Dallas Cowboys.
Vance said Hickman was a 1979 El Dorado High School graduate and a 1987 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Business.
"Joe’s involvement in El Dorado has not quit. He has always remembered where he came from," Vance said. He said Sweeney raised five children, including Joe, as a single mother with help from the Boys and Girls Club.
"This is not only an opportunityto celebrate Joe Hickman … but also El Dorado," Vance said.
Vance said later that Hickman joined Blue Star Land about 1991. While at El Dorado High School and in the Boys and Girls Club, he played baseball, football, basketball and was on swim teams.
He noted that Hickman’s sister, Karen, is married to Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones’ son and vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. Stephen Jones will also be attending the banquet.
"He’s the godfather of my kids," Vance said of Hickman. "He took me under his wing … This (Boys and Girls Club) is where our friendship started in the late 1970s and early 1980s." Vance recalled he had a family tragedy at one time and Hickman gave him the keys to a car and a bag phone and told him, "Go to El Dorado and take care of your mom and dad."
"He always gives back and has never been asked to," he said, adding Hickman always helps with the Boys and Girls Club’s annual Christmas campaign to provide presents for children involved in the club.
Hickman is married to Beverly Hickman and they have three children, Austin, Rachel and Acie.
Sweeney said that Joe had three brothers. "Just about every afternoon, they would head to the Boys and Girls Club," she said. "The Boys and Girls Club was always a big part of our lives."
She said the family’s work with the club inspired her to take on the chairman ship of the United Way Campaign one year, with her espousing the club’s work during the campaign. "It’s a great place and it has a great impact on a lot of young lives," Sweeney said.
Jerry Jones has been owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys since 1989. Besides his appearance, the banquet will feature a silent auction which will feature Dallas Cowboys memorabilia.
The Cowboys will host Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6 and Vance hinted that the silent auction may also include some Super Bowl-re lated items.
Tickets for the banquet may be obtained by calling the Boys and Girls Club at 863-8753, or any Boys and Girls Club board member or Alumni Association member.
Past Hall of Fame inductees have included Jim Mooty, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys; Wayne Harris, formerly of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League; local independent oilman Chesley Pruet; William Nolan of Noalmark Broadcasting Co. and a local attorney; former Miss America Donna Axum Whitworth; former Boys and Girls Club directors Alva Waddell and Cecil Kellum; longtime volunteer coach Jolley Hanry; Charles Murphy Jr., founder of Murphy Oil Corp.; Thomas May of Simmons First Bank; past Bancorp South President Robert Dudley; Dr. Don Echols; and retired El Dorado businessman Knox White.
Charlotte J Williams