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Wayne Bannon

Profile Updated: December 30, 2012
Residing In:
memphis, TN USA
Military Service:
Air Force  

Greetings fellow classmates! This is your former classmate, Wayne Bannon. The purpose of this article is to share a little of my experiences since leaving the comfort of my Iowa home. My life has been a good one. For twenty years I was a junior high school teacher and football coach. My career in education was the result of an unexpected opportunity that turned out to be a real blessing.
Mentoring has always held, for me, a strong interest. As a result, while teaching and coaching in the Memphis City Schools, I helped to implement a tutoring program that eventually served over a hundred young people in the Memphis area through after-school activities. Luckily, several fellow teachers volunteered to help by giving their time and effort when it was needed. One of our most successful projects was in assisting Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that has helped to build decent, affordable houses for people worldwide. The first picture is a house that one mentoring group helped to build for a local family. (See picture 1 below)

Even before this project, when I was teaching at another Memphis City School my classes raised over a thousand dollars for the local United Way.
After I retired from teaching in 2002, I wanted to do something to benefit my community. Consequently, I launched the Whitehaven Alliance of Churches and Neighborhoods (WACN). The goal of this organization is to encourage churches and families within certain neighborhoods to reach out and identify the needs of their community and work together to meet those needs. In 2004, the WACN agreed to promote a community-wide blood drive to replenish our city’s blood bank called Lifeblood. Lifeblood is the Memphis region’s only full-service, nonprofit blood donation center. Through neighborhood donor centers and mobile blood drives, Lifeblood provides opportunities for citizens to donate blood throughout the year. I am very proud of the Whitehaven Alliance of Churches and Neighborhoods for how it rallied around helping this worthwhile organization. You may be interested to know that I am a 12 gallon donor to Lifeblood. WACN’s blood drive is, however, a work in progress. (See picture 2 below)

In 2005, the organization was asked to assist the Peppertree Apartments. They are low income housing units in the community. WACN identified several problems that needed our support. For the next three years, we were able to accomplish the following:
1. Secure mobile dental van for residents needing dental care.
2. Help residents without high school diplomas practice for GED exams.
3. Establish computer training classes with instructors.
4. Hold job fairs for residents needing employment.
5. Hold electronics classes on site for tenants.
6. Hold driver education classes for residents. I did the teaching for the written exam and the organization recruited community volunteers to handle the driving part. (Mr. Christen, Marshalltown High School driver education teacher, would be proud of me.) (See picture 3 of four grouped below)

A year after retiring from teaching, a neighbor asked me to consider volunteering for the Memphis Crisis Center. The MCC is a suicide prevention telephone hotline. I was originally one of the counselors at the center but have just recently been appointed chairman of the board of directors. I have been moved by the number of troubled callers who simply want someone to listen and talk to them. My work at the center has given me an opportunity to help each caller get through difficult moments in his or her life.
I also am a volunteer with a local outreach group one day a month. My role with this group is to disperse federal commodities to seniors and disabled citizens. I also deliver groceries for a local church. From time to time, I receive phone calls from families needing food. Thankfully, our organization has the resources to respond to needs such as these. I do this on a regular basis and believe that I am making a difference.
Last year a contest was held by the Shelby County Volunteers. They are the core of the Shelby County United Way. The contest was based on who had volunteered the most hours in one year. I finished second in Shelby County. I am very proud of that. (See picture 4 below)

I am now involved in a project that began in 2007. It is a mentoring program with three other retired male teachers. The Whitehaven community is home to fourteen elementary schools. We visit elementary schools where we have a good chance to make a difference with a small group of young men selected by the school’s administration. Our goal is to provide guidance and positive influence both academically and socially.
After my graduation in 1964, I was employed at KIOWA Corporation in Marshalltown. My plans were to remain there and live a happy and prosperous life. Uncle Sam, however, had other ideas. After joining the Air Force, I traveled around the world—Seattle, WA; Amarillo, TX; Mesa, AZ; Ram Stein, Germany, and now Memphis, TN. I even ran into Terry Mellows, a MHS graduate, in Italy and Ron Wooster, another former graduate, in Germany. Following my honorable discharge in 1969, I was accepted into a pilot undergraduate program at the former University of Memphis (Memphis State University). This federal program would fund my full tuition if I would commit to teaching physical education in the Memphis public elementary school system following graduation. That is when my career as a public school physical education teacher began. I have been in Memphis ever since. Marshalltown, however, will always be home.

Wayne's Latest Interactions

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Nov 01, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Happy birthday Wayne! Enjoy your special day during these trying times! A year to remember . . . or try to forget!

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today.
Nov 01, 2020 at 3:33 AM
Nov 01, 2019 at 2:41 PM

Happiest birthday to you Wayne! I hope you are enjoying your day and years to come!

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today.
Nov 01, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Nov 01, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Happy birthday Wayne! Have a happy, healthy birthday & year!

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today.
Nov 01, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Oct 31, 2018 at 11:50 PM

Happy Birthday Wayne. I hope you have a great day.

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today. New comment added.
Nov 01, 2017 at 1:14 PM

Posted on: Nov 01, 2017 at 3:33 AM

Oct 31, 2017 at 11:07 PM

Want to wish you a very Happy Birthday Wayne. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today.
Nov 01, 2016 at 3:33 AM
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Oct 31, 2016 at 11:48 PM

Posted on: Oct 30, 2016 at 11:32 PM

I thought I would wish you a happy birthday early. This way I won't forget it. Have a great day Wayne.

Wayne Bannon has a birthday today. New comment added.
Nov 02, 2015 at 12:53 AM

Posted on: Nov 01, 2015 at 3:33 AM

Aug 02, 2015 at 10:57 PM
Wayne Bannon has a birthday today.
Nov 01, 2014 at 3:33 AM
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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
The house built by Habitat for Humanity
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Members of White-haven Alliance of Churches and Neighborhoods
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Coach Bannon with Peppertree Projects: Assessment, GED preparation, Computer training and Job-Linc
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Mr. Bannon delivered commodities.