The state’s Character Counts program is seeking nominations for its annual awards which honor outstanding individual Iowans, schools, sports teams and businesses. Amy Smit, coordinator of the program, says there are several types of awards they’ll be handing out.

The Citizens of Character Award recognizes friends, neighbors, students and anyone you may look up to, while the Educator of Character Award and the School of Character Award recognizes teachers and entire schools which help to promote good character. Other awards single out school athletic teams, and businesses or organizations that demonstrate good character.

The six pillars of character include: Caring, Citizenship, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness. Smit says a new award is named after an Eagle Grove Boy Scout who was killed in a tornado in 2008.

Everyone who’s nominated for an Iowa character award will also be considered for the Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award. It was presented, posthumously, to the boy’s family last year and recognizes an individual who makes their community a better place through dedicated volunteerism. The entry deadline for all awards is July 8th.

Smit says the winners will be announced later this year. Winners will be notified in September and there’ll be a big banquet on October 23rd for the awards ceremony. For more information on how to nominate someone go online to

Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City