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Local Drummer Breaks Make-A-Wish Fundraising Records 

LYMAN, ME (April 29, 2023) — The 3rd annual Drumming Up Wishes concert, to benefit Make-A-Wish Maine and its Walk For Wishes campaign, will be held noon to 5 p.m., Sunday May 7 at Funky Bow Brewery in Lyman.

Local drummer Jeff Glidden, of South Portland, founded Drumming Up Wishes and organizes it each year. He became involved with Make-A-Wish Maine after his two daughters received wishes.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s mission is “to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.”

“I was incredibly moved by their generosity,” said Glidden. “I personally know the power of these granted wishes.”

After seeing the impact that Make-A-Wish Maine had on the lives of his own daughters, Glidden committed himself to helping the foundation. He has raised nearly $50,000 over the past several years, and is the state’s top contributor to the Walk for Wishes campaign, both overall and each year. 

This year, Glidden is hosting Drumming Up Wishes with a Watkins Glen theme. Summer Jam at Watkins Glen was a July 1973 concert held in Watkins Glen, New York featuring the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Band and The Band. The event attracted more than 600,000 people and at the time, was the largest concert ever held — even bigger than Woodstock.

To fulfill the Watkins Glen theme, Drumming Up Wishes will feature three local tribute acts, each covering one of the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen performing artists.

Handling the Grateful Dead headlining slot will be Lazy Lightning, a popular tribute band that played in Maine throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Lazy Lightning returned from a 10-year hiatus last November to a sold-out crowd at Portland House of Music and Events in Portland.

Jim “Jimbo” Harris, of Playing Dead, will join the band for the performance.

Wake Up Mama, an all-star band of local musicians, will be standing in for the Allman Brothers Band. Glidden said Wake Up Mama is a new band that “brought that Macon sound” to southern Maine last year. The Allman Brothers Band originated in Macon, Georgia.

Opening the show, like The Band did at Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, Cripple Creek is another all-star band of local musicians, formed to perform The Band’s music at Drumming Up Wishes.

The concert is free but donations are encouraged and will be accepted at the event.

Glidden said he hopes the event will make more people aware of the foundation and their “incredible mission.”

Samantha Elliott, events manager for Make-A-Wish Maine, said that 1,700 wishes have been granted in Maine since the chapter’s founding in 1992.

“No matter the circumstances, our objective remains to provide each child and family with a worry-free experience that has the power to help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope,” Elliott said.

Marc Kaplan, of Kennebunk, who plays drums with Cripple Creek, said Glidden’s “unrelenting passion” for Make-A-Wish Maine has brought together nearly 20 musicians donating their time and talent to fund more wishes.

Kaplan said he has seen at his workplace the difference Make-A-Wish Maine has made for families. Kaplan is the medical director at Sweetser, a mental health care provider in Maine.

“Over the 25 years I’ve been at Sweetser, I have met families and children with critical illnesses who were granted a wish,” Kaplan said. “The immense psychological and emotional benefits the families experienced were priceless.”

Glidden isn’t the only one performing at Drumming Up Wishes whose family has been comforted by Make-A-Wish Maine.

Dan Mayo, of Saco, who plays bass for Cripple Creek, lost his five-year-old daughter to cancer in 1987.

“As a 24-year-old father of two, I thought the world was a challenge,” said Mayo. “Then I found out my two-year-old daughter, Jessica, had cancer.

“The next three years were insane. Doctors, surgery, a bone marrow transplant — big medicine. We thought we had beat it, but after two years of struggle, the cancer came back hard and fast. The oncologists at Maine Children’s Cancer Program put us in touch with the Make-a-Wish foundation to help put some hope and happiness into our struggling lives.”

Mayo said it was 15 years after Jessica died that he met Glidden when his band needed a fill-in drummer. He said after Glidden’s daughters had life threatening health issues and received wishes, Glidden “wanted to give back what he could.”

Mayo said his band Diamond Sky started working with Glidden to raise money for Make-A-Wish Maine. They donated their gig money and raised $1,100 in the first year.

Now, said Mayo, musicians are hoping to help Glidden raise $10,000 this year.

“Make-a-Wish puts smiles on the faces of kids who really need something to smile about,” Mayo said. “We have all lost a loved one. Donate in memory. Donate to change lives.”

Elliott said Glidden’s Drumming Up Wishes event is part of Make-A-Wish Maine’s annual Walk for Wishes campaign.

This year’s Walk for Wishes will be held on Thursday, May 18 at Edward Payson Park in Portland.

Elliott said Walk for Wishes is a chance “to celebrate all the incredible wishes from the past year and fundraise to make more life-changing wishes come true. It’s a day that inspires our supporters and gives hope to wish kids and families when they need it most.”

“As the father of two wish kids, Jeff continues to ‘wish it forward’ and raise critical funds to grant wishes in Maine,” Elliott said of Glidden. “He has been a top fundraiser at the annual Walk for Wishes for many years and remains one of our organization’s greatest advocates.”

Rob Carlson, of Standish, said Glidden approached him years ago to perform at a benefit for the foundation. Eventually, the effort among Glidden’s musician friends evolved into an annual concert at Funky Bow Brewery in Lyman.

Carlson said he played past Drumming Up Wishes concerts with his band Diamond Sky and the Stella Blue Brothers, a duo he formed with Mayo. This year, he will play guitar with Cripple Creek.

Paul Lorrain, owner of Funky Bow Brewery, said the event has happened in May each of the last two years and he is proud of Glidden’s efforts to raise awareness for Make-A-Wish Maine.

“We are proud to be able join in this endeavor with Jeff,” Lorrain said. “Our goal is to help as many people in our community as possible.”

“Glidden is a deeply empathetic soul,” Carlson said. “It’s a great joy for us to help support the cause and Jeff’s unbreakable will and energy around this effort–a great white light shining for some very special wish recipients.”

Carlson said Glidden has broken his fundraising goals with Drumming Up Wishes each year.

“Drumming Up Wishes helps transform the joy people get from music into joy for children who need it,” said Glidden. “I have seen the look on my daughters’ faces when they received their wishes, and I know the difference it made in their lives.”

“A wish can be life-changing for everyone involved,” said Elliott. “Granting wishes is something we all have the power to do.”

For more information on Make-A-Wish Maine, visit https://; for Glidden’s Drumming Up Wishes donation page, visit

3rd Annual Drumming Up Wishes with Lazy Lightning, Wake Up Mama, & Cripple Creek

Funky Bow Brewery, Lyman, ME

Sunday, May 7, noon to 5 p.m.

Donations requested for admission

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