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. Click here to learn more about this year's recipients!

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)


Award presentation

Award recipients will receive their Iowa Character Award at an awards dinner on Friday, July 21, 2017 in Altoona, IA. The awards dinner will feature videos about each recipient (see videos about last year's recipients here). All nominees are invited to attend.

Reserve your seats here!


The 2017 Iowa Character Awards are presented by:  


Hy-Vee logo

Partner logo


Link to Upcoming Classes
Your Character Minute
September 14, 2017
September 14, 2017