Colville Couple Puts Music on the Menu for a Worthy Cause

December 01, 2010 | Jon Dalrymple

Where in the world can you enjoy a first-class meal with a dash of soprano and a side of a men's quartet?

For two years now, Barry and Shelley Bacon have hosted in their Colville, Wash., home an event called "Music on the Menu." With the help of church youth, family and other friends, they have developed this unique and fun event as a way to involve the community in blessing others around the world.

"We wanted to think of a creative way to make fundraising fun and appropriate for the Sabbath hours and involve our community in outreach at the same time," says Shelley. "So last year, about six weeks before the UCA Choraliers were scheduled to perform at our church, we came up with the idea of having them perform that evening for a fundraiser as well. We decided to make the meal free and ask guests to give a donation for each song they chose from the menu."

Several weeks before this year's event, invitations were handed out in the community, an ad was run in the local newspaper, and announcements were made in churches inviting people to make reservations for the special meal. To accommodate all the guests, the living areas in the house were cleared of furniture. Tables and chairs, donated from Sun Rental, were brought in. Decorations were loaned to the cause by a local florist, and different portions of the meal were prepared by various church members and friends.

Once the guests were seated and served, the musical menu was available. Each participant was invited to place money in an envelope passed around the table. When the envelope total reached $100, a guest could order a song from the menu which was then performed for all the guests.

Last year $1,700 was raised at the event and used to replace the worn out mattresses in Mwami Adventist Hospital in Zambia, Africa. This year more than $2,000 was raised to support the Somaly Mam Foundation, which is working to stop human trafficking.

More than 110 people attended this year's event, including servers and musicians. Nearly 85 people were guests, 65 of whom were community members and not Seventh-day Adventists.

"I see this as a ministry and an outreach to the community just as much as it is a fundraiser," says Shelley. "To me it is all about making friends for Jesus."