Iowa Character Awards

The Ray Center annually recognizes Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.  Since 2005, we have recognized more than 100 Iowans for showing good character. 

Nominations for the 2018 Iowa Character Awards will open in January 2018.

Congratulations to the 2017 Iowa Character Award recipients:

Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award
Jackson Fink (Des Moines) (Video)

Citizen of Character

Jack Eherenman (Waterloo) (Video)

Jeevanjot “JJ” Kapur (West Des Moines) (Video)

Honorable Mentions: Anna Curiel (Albia), Dayna Dunnwald (West Des Moines), Anthony Howland (Davenport), Mary Baumhover (Carroll)

Business/Organization of Character
Dress for Success Des Moines (Video)

Honorable Mention: Drew’s Crew (Waukee), Animal Lifeline of Iowa (Carlisle), Youth Justice Initiative (West Des Moines) 

Character Champion
Dr. Bill Watson (Urbandale) (Video)

Community of Character

Urbandale (Video)

Educator of Character
Dwight Beyer (Lynnville) (Video)

Honorable Mention: Kevin Brasser (Paullina), Todd Pettit (Urbandale)

Partner of the Year
Register Media (Des Moines) (Video)

Pursuing Victory with Honor
Granny Basketball (Lansing) (Video)

School of Character

North Ridge Elementary (Grimes) (Video)

Student Team/Organization of Character
Stick-to-It 4-H Club (Sigourney) (Video)

Honorable Mention: Nevada High School FFA (Nevada) 

Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award

Joy C. Corning (Video)


The 2017 Iowa Character Awards are presented by:  


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