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Hy-Vee & CHARACTER COUNTS! Announce Cancellation of April 8 Exercising Your Character Event

March 5, 2020 | News & Press Releases

DES MOINES, Iowa (March 5, 2020) — While the country is closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Hy-Vee and CHARACTER COUNTS! have also been following the situation and making plans for how to best protect those from the spread of the virus at upcoming events.

Based on recent guidance released to the public from organizations like the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, Hy-Vee and CHARACTER COUNTS! have decided to cancel this year’s Exercising Your Character (EYC) event scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

This event typically brings together more than 10,000 students, teachers and volunteers from across Iowa to one location, which in the current climate could present a significant risk for the spread of illness, should it be detected in Iowa. Additionally, this event was scheduled to occur two to three weeks after many students, teachers and families may have traveled for Spring Break. Based on the timing of travel, those individuals may not know yet that they’re sick and could potentially risk exposing others to the illness. In addition, canceling this year’s event at this time allows schools the opportunity to schedule another field trip, if they desire.

“While this event is always a highlight of our year, we know this decision is the right one,” said Scott Raecker, executive director of the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center, which operates CHARACTER COUNTS! “The health and wellbeing of all attendees at this event comes first and foremost. We look forward to continuing our long-term and significant partnership with Hy-Vee in other ways this year.”

“Despite the news about this year’s event, we are already making plans to hold the biggest and best Exercising Your Character event in April 2021,” said Donna Tweeten, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president, chief marketing officer and chief customer officer. “We won’t let this year’s cancellation hinder the growth or the planning of future Exercising Your Character events. Be on the lookout for more information later this year for what we have in store in 2021.”

Hy-Vee has sponsored the Exercising Your Character event since 2007, in cooperation with the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, an organization that promotes civility through character development and ethical leadership.