ANKENY, Iowa -- After a three-month search for the best local celebrities, Casey's General Stores Inc. recently announced Ray Sorensen II of Greenfield, Iowa, as the winner of the Casey's Famous People Contest. Celebrated as "The Freedom Rock Artist," Sorensen is a local celebrity known for his yearly tribute to military heroes and their families with his murals on Freedom Rock, which is located along Iowa Highway 25.
To recognize Sorensen, Casey's recently hosted a pizza party for his hometown where more than 585 residents visited the store throughout the day for a free slice of pizza. Casey's also presented Sorensen with a $5,000 grand-prize check during the event.
"The residents of Greenfield really came out to show their support for Ray and all he does for military veterans and their families," said Robert J. Myers, president and CEO of Casey's. "We were honored to have such an outstanding local celebrity enter the Casey's Famous People Contest, and we look forward to Ray's continued success."
Casey's Famous People Contest began in July with a community-wide call-to-action asking Facebook users to nominate local "celebrities" from their hometowns for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize. The contest generated more than 650 nominations, which were narrowed down to three finalists, including: The Freedom Rock Artist (first place; watch embedded video or click here); The Crazy Goat Lady (second place; click here to watch video); and The Etch-a-Sketch Artist (third place; click here to watch video).
The second- and third-place winners each received a $500 runner-up prize.
Based in Ankeny, Iowa, Casey's is a leading independently owned convenience store chain in the Midwest and of one the largest in the country. As of Aug. 31, 2012, Casey's owned and operated more than 1,700 stores in 12 states.