Community Concert Assists Local Food Banks
by Hank MolinengoOn Sunday, September 29 at Fairfax High School, Grammy nominated violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker and the Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. held a concert as part of the annual “Day to Serve” initiative to “Feed the Hungry”. A crowd of 800 people were uplifted and edified by the inspiring music provided. The generosity shown this evening was not limited to the sharing of the talents of the performers; approximately 1600 pounds of nonperishable goods were donated. This food will be put to good use by local area food banks that are responding to unprecedented demand from those in need.
The theme for this concert was, ‘With Gratitude We Share”. It was a wonderful evening of music and fellowship. Greg Goehring, the concert director, did a fantastic job in organizing and directing this concert andthose in attendance were especially grateful to Jenny Oaks Baker ( www.jennyoaksbaker.com) and the Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C. for their willingness to lend their talents for such a worthy cause.
program began with words from Neal Neumann, the narrator for the event, and Doug
Bush, the President of the Annandale, VA LDS Stake, which collected
thousands of pounds of food through donation solicited by patrons of local
grocery stores and a 3K Walk. A rousing
rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” with Neal Neumann serving as narrator
was performed followed by the work of Ms. Baker, former first chair violinist
with the National Symphony Orchestra, who played a magnificent violin solo
titled, “ Souvenir d’ Amerique”. Ms. Baker also performed inspiring solos in
“Theme from Schindler’s List” and “Amazing Grace”.
A favorite American folk song classic, “Oh Susanna” was performed by Northern Virginia residents Erin Mecham, Bobbie Lattin, Kevin Riehle, and Greg Goehring. The Mormon Choir ( www.mormonchoir.org) performed “Redeemer of Israel”, “You Raise Me Up” with Gary Clawson as soloist, “Because I Have Been Given Much” and closed with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the audience joining. It was a very uplifting and moving program for all in attendance.
Even though Fairfax County is a relatively well to do area, there are many in our midst who are in a daily struggle in the current economy to provide for their families and to make ends meet. The following organizations supported by the Day to Serve food donations included the following:
- Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) supported by 26 area congregations and provides assistance to thousands of families and individuals each year.
- Our Daily Bread (ODB) supports low-income families who need not only food assistance but also need support and assistance with the rigors of daily living and social needs.
- Ecumenical Community for Helping Others (ECHO) is supported by 25 area congregations and provides both food and other household support to low income families.
These organizations provide assistance to all in need and the assistance is always free of charge to those who receive.
The Day of Servicebegan in 2012 as a collaboration between the governors of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. to feed the hungry and save the planet. It is a unique event that unites people of all faiths, races, cultures, and backgrounds with the shared goal of helping those in need and improving the local community. It is hoped that next year’s event will reach more people and that Day to Serve will become a permanent part of the fabric of the Fairfax County community.