Skip Sub Menu

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.  

How are award recipients selected and recognized?

Award recipients will be honored in three ways:

  • At the 2022 Iowa Character Awards dinner on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona.
  • FOX 17 will work with each recipient to create a video that will air during a one-hour, primetime television special in summer/fall 2022.
  • The Ray Center team will schedule a hometown visit to honor each award recipient in their own community.

2022 Iowa Character Award Recipients

Business/Organization of Character:

Southwest Iowa Planning Council  (Atlantic)

Adult Citizen of Character:

Luanne Kustra (Carroll)

Honorable Mentions:
Colleen Conrad (West Des Moines)
Sylvia Westendorf (Maynard)

Youth Citizen of Character:

Katie Hernandez (Des Moines)

Honorable Mentions:
Kathleen Loder (Des Moines)
Brody Spies (Hinton)

Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award:

Zackry Brennan (Belmond)

Educator of Character:  

Andrew Genz (Louisa-Muscatine CSD)

Honorable Mentions:
Michelle Hill (Waukee CSD)
Joan Nikkel (Pella CSD)

Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award:

Iowa State Football (Ames)

School of Character:

Schuler Elementary (Atlantic)

Student Organization of Character:

Fairfield Student Council (Fairfield CSD)

Honorable Mentions:
Mason City High School Student Senate (Mason City CSD)

Community of Character:


Partner of the Year:

Iowa Farm Bureau

Character Champion:

Renee Murphy (Ankeny)

Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character:  



The 2021 Iowa Character Awards are presented by:  

    Hy-Vee logo


   Partner logo

Murphy Enterprizes  


 Click here to donate to The Ray Center 


August 21, 2020
August 20, 2020
August 18, 2020