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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. 

All nominees will receive a certificate in the mail recognizing their good character and two complimentary tickets to attend the 2018 Iowa Character Awards.

Award recipients will be selected and contacted the first week of June. Award recipients will receive a trophy, complimentary tickets to the 2018 Iowa Character Awards, and a special hometown visit from FOX KDSM 17 for an interview, which will be played at the 2018 Iowa Character Awards.

The 2018 Iowa Character Awards dinner and program will be held on Friday, July 20th, 2018 at Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona.

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Congratulations to the 2018 Iowa Character Award recipients:

Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award:  Mike Gartner, Des Moines

Aaron Eilerts Award:  Trinity Hopkey, Cumming

Partner of the Year:  MidAmerican Energy

Character Champion: Jay Parker, Urbandale

Community of Character:  Aplington-Parkersburg

Pursuing Victory with Honor Award:  Iowa High School Dance and Drill Team Association

Business/Organization of Character:  Boone Hope Foundation, Boone

Honorable Mentions

  • Everybody Wins! Iowa, Des Moines
  • The Iowa Wave Shirt, Urbandale


Adult Citizen of Character:  George Belistos, Ames

Honorable Mentions

  • Mindi Callison, Ames
  • Angela Brisbois, Crescent


Youth Citizen of Character:  Zyrianna Cerna-Koehrsen, Iowa Falls

Honorable Mentions

  • Chase Quintus, Eagle Grove
  • Saul Ocampo Lamada, Muscatine
  • Julia Campbell, De Witt


School of Character: Denison Elementary/Broadway Schools

Honorable Mentions

  • Lynnville-Sully
  • IKM-Manning


Educator of Character:  Kevin Johnson, Lynnville-Sully

Honorable Mentions

  • Jill Allen, Grinnell
  • Brad Vallem, Waterloo
  •  Jane Miller, Chariton


School Team/ Organization of Character:  Mentors in Violence Prevention (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), Cedar Rapids

Honorable Mentions

  • Nevada FFA, Nevada
  • Every 15 Minutes (South Hamilton), Jewell


The 2018 Iowa Character Awards are presented by:  


Hy-Vee logo

Partner logo


July 12, 2018
July 10, 2018