Joe Reynolds and his wife Francelya have been fixtures in Osceola, Iowa for well over 50 years. From Joe’s early years as Postmaster and his involvement with the Clarke County VFW Chapter, to the couple’s weekly Lakeside visits and social engagements – they are related to a certain Iowa Governor, you know – the Reynolds are no strangers in the community. But it was Joe’s service in the Navy during World War II that drew the attention of the Lakeside team when discussing who would help kick off the William Hill Sportsbook at Lakeside on August 15th.
“When we heard about Joe’s service while stationed in the Philippines as well as his commitment to this community,” said Dave Monroe, General Manager of Lakeside Resort and Casino. “We knew exactly who would be placing the first bet on Thursday.”
Joe was stationed with the 61st Naval Construction Battalion while serving in 1944 and 1945. At 97, he has the dubious honor of being one of only two World War II Veterans living in Clarke County, Iowa.
“Not too long ago, we would see hundreds of veterans come through the VFW,” said Joe with a smile. “Now, we’re a much smaller group, but just as rowdy.”
With many of their patrons being military veterans like Joe as well as numerous veteran staff and family members, honoring those who serve is a core mission for the Lakeside team. So, while Joe helps launch the first Sportsbook program at Lakeside, the hospitality crew and servers will be setting up for a luncheon to take place after the event to honor veterans like Joe Reynolds and over 600 other vets throughout Clarke County.
Thursday’s Veterans’ Luncheon will include a presentation of a check for $15,000 from Lakeside Resort and Casino to the Veterans Association of Clarke County. This money, intended to be shared among the various chapters around the county, will help with the purchase of much needed electric beds, chairs, and equipment to help veterans and “The Greatest Generation.”
Also announced at Thursday’s luncheon will be the plans to move forward with The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at Osceola’s Lakeside Resort and Casino. The exhibit has been touted as one of the nation’s most inspirational military displays and has seen hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years. The 3/5ths scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. can be seen on the grounds at Lakeside in Osceola, Iowa from September 25th to the 29th.
From the launch of south-central Iowa’s newest Sportsbook center to giving a voice to and honoring America’s Veterans, Thursday’s events will amount to a special day for the entire community. The launch of the William Hill Sportsbook at Lakeside will start with Joe’s first wager at 12:00pm sharp and the Veterans’ lunch will follow immediately afterward.