Lebanon’s Breakfast Rotary presents Bernie Bass community awards to two

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 7:01 PM

Lebanon’s Breakfast Rotary presented Bernie Bass Community Service Awards Thursday to a Lebanon businessman and a classroom teacher.

Recipients of the distinguish service awards were T.A. (Tommy) Bryan, a longtime Lebanon civic leader and businessman, and Greg Armstrong, a Friendship Christian School faculty member.

Both men were recognized in their respective awards presentation for their work and contributions toward helping others.

Bryan, who owns a local insurance agency, was cited for his work in helping to establish a Rescue Mission in 1964 for the homeless; for his role in founding a nonprofit organization, CedarCroft, dedicated to aiding men with disabilities and veterans by providing food and housing; and for other charitable work in the community from teaching a Sunday Bible class to patients and residents at a Lebanon nursing home to providing a place to live in the early 1970s for a refugee Vietnamese family.

Bryan, a deacon at Lebanon’s First Baptist Church, has been involved in a number of community-wide charities and service groups including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. He is a former president and remains an active member in the Lebanon Kiwanis Club.

Armstrong, an avid runner and a classroom teacher at Friendship since 2005, began a nonprofit organization in 2008 to raise awareness of certain clean water deficiencies and help provide clean water solutions in a number of foreign countries as well to many in Tennessee. Run 4 Water, under Armstrong’s leadership, has helped provide clean water in Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua and also in some rural East Tennessee counties.

Although water is a focus for the nonprofit, Run 4 Water seeks to serve and encourage in a variety of ways. Locally Run 4 Water sponsors elementary school age children to run for a purpose in the AMarathon in 26 DaysM event and partners with other local organizations such as Empower Me Day Camp to support children with disabilities in reaching their goals. Armstrong has made a commitment to empowering young adults to be servant leaders.

Greg Butler, president of the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary, said the club began the annual presentation of the Bernie Bass Community Service Awards in 2011.

The man for whom the award is named, the late Col. Bernie Bass, was also a Lebanon Rotarian who registered a distinguished career in the Air Force as a combat fighter pilot in World War II and later as a base commander at Cameron Bay, Vietnam during the conflict in Southeast Asia. When he returned to Wilson County after retiring from the military, he dedicated much of his life to community service. He was a classroom teacher and administrator at Castle Heights Military Academy, a member of the Cumberland University Board of Trust, and active in a number of community organizations.

Recommended for You