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The Year of Barry: Honored for 20 Years of TN Volunteering

PHOTO: It's estimated that Andrus Award winner Barry Coggins has delivered around 10,000 meals in his more than two decades of volunteering with Meals on Wheels. Photo courtesy AARP Tennessee.
PHOTO: It's estimated that Andrus Award winner Barry Coggins has delivered around 10,000 meals in his more than two decades of volunteering with Meals on Wheels. Photo courtesy AARP Tennessee.
November 28, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A singer and songwriter from Nashville is being honored for his volunteer work and making a real difference in the lives of others every week of the year.

Barry Coggins is the winner of the 2014 Tennessee Andrus Award for Community Service.

Coggins was nominated by Adrienne Newman, associate executive director of the group FiftyForward, for his more than 20-year commitment to Meals on Wheels.

"He doesn't just deliver,” Newman points out. “He also checks in on them. Sometimes he'll bring gifts. Sometimes he'll bring things that they need.

“We have one woman that talked about whenever he's there she doesn't hesitate to ask him to change a light bulb or take out the trash or do what ever she needs to do."

The Andrus Awards are AARP's most prestigious and visible state volunteer honors.

This year's honorable mentions went to Rita Atkins of Franklin and Lillie St. Clair of Cordova.

Newman says in addition to going the extra mile for his Meals on Wheels clients, Coggins also coordinates an annual golf tournament that has raised more than $30,000 since its inception.

"And I think one of the things that Barry would want me to say is that even though he brings a lot of joy to other people, that he gets as much back from it – and that there's just very simple ways that you can make a difference," Newman adds.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TN