Iowa Character Awards

Don Anderson, BP, is among those honored for showing good character

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.

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University is dedicated to improving civility and developing ethical leaders throughout the world.

CHARACTER COUNTS! is housed at The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.  As a global initiative that transforms lives and strengthens communities, CHARACTER COUNTS! supports our mission to improve civility through character development and ethical leadership. 

Built on the cornerstone of the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!, The Ray Center helps create strong, vibrant communities that value positive, healthy relationships and respectful behavior.  

Watch the Iowa Character Awards special on KDSM Fox 17 at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 30.

2020 Iowa Character Award Recipients and Honorable Mentions

Business/Organization of Character: Grinnell Mutual (Grinnell) 

Honorable Mentions:
Sammons Financial (West Des Moines)
ServePro of Black Hawk County (Waterloo)

Adult Citizen of Character: Bonnie Romine (North English)  

Honorable Mentions:
Louis Fountain (Des Moines)
Kelsay Parrott (Cherokee)

Youth Citizen of Character: Lillie Lamont and Caroline Lang (Vinton-Shellsburg) 

Honorable Mentions:
Madeline Putnam (Decorah)
Anna Janni (Johnston)

Aaron Elierts Community Service Award: Michael De Jong (Montezuma)

Educator of Character:  Don Anderson (Belle Plaine Community Schools) 

Honorable Mentions:
Tara Zehr (Newton Community Schools WEST Academy, Newton)
Jason Lang (Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls)

Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award: Madrid Cross Country

Honorable Mentions:
Cedar Falls Bowling (Cedar Falls)

School of Character: Perry High School (Perry) 

Student Organization of Character: East High Army JROTC (Waterloo) 

Honorable Mentions:
St. Joseph’s 8th Grade Class (DeWitt)
Best Buddies (Iowa City)

Community of Character: Storm Lake 

Partner of the Year: Bankers Trust 

Character Champion: Steve Rohrer, Norwalk

Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character: Nancy Tychsen, West Des Moines

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