Jeff Glidden of South Portland has organized his third Drumming Up Wishes concert to benefit Make-A-Wish Maine. This year’s concert featuring four bands will be held May 7 at Funky Bow Brewery in Lyman. Contributed / Make-A-Wish Maine

Music has always been a big part of South Portland drummer Jeff Glidden’s life, but over the past four years it has become a way for him to give back to Make-A-Wish Maine.

His daughter Sarah was diagnosed with cancer when she was a freshman in high school, and two years later, his younger daughter Erica went into cardiac arrest one morning when she woke up for school. Both girls received “wishes” from the nonprofit Maine organization dedicated to children diagnosed with critical illnesses. Now Glidden uses his talent behind the drum kit to fund Make-A-Wish Maine wishes for other children.

“These granted wishes, they are the most powerful things I have ever seen,” Glidden told The Forecaster last week. “What it initially does for the child and the family, and the long-term effects of hope, love, light.”

Glidden is raising money for the sixth year to participate in the Make-A-Wish “Walk for Wishes” fundraiser, scheduled for May 18 in Portland and Bangor. He’ll get a big boost from the Drumming Up Wishes benefit concert he organizes, scheduled for May 7 at Funky Bow Brewing in Lyman.

Four years ago, with help from members of the Maine-based band Diamond Sky, Glidden put on his first benefit show at Funky Bow to sponsor him in the Walk for Wishes. The show, which brought in over $1,000 in donations, turned out to be a dress rehearsal.

The concerts have helped make Glidden the top contributor to Walk for Wishes in the state. Overall, he has raised $50,000 for Make-A-Wish Maine.


“For the last several years our top individual fundraiser for this event has been Jeff Glidden,” Make-A-Wish Maine President and CEO Kate Vickery said in an email to The Forecaster. “Proceeds from the Drumming Up Wishes event will go directly towards supporting Jeff as a walk participant this year and we are cheering him on all the way.”

This year’s concert has a Watkins Glen theme, an homage to the Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, New York, in 1973 that featured the likes of the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band. Paying tribute to those bands at Drumming Up Wishes will be Cripple Creek and two bands Glidden plays with, Wake Up Mama and Lazy Lightning. There will also be a performance by country band 12/OC, who Glidden said “attract tons of people on their own.”

“I always figured where you’re gonna go, you’re gonna keep going,” Glidden said. “You’ve got to make it a little bit bigger every time.”

The concert fundraiser has grown every year, said Paul Lorraine, owner of Funky Bow.

“When he first started, there might have been 100 people here,” said Lorraine. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we had 600 to 700 people this year.”

Funky Bow routinely hosts local bands, Lorraine said, and they love to host charity events, especially ones that benefit children, making the venue a natural fit for Drumming Up Wishes.


“It’s a great foundation, a great thing to do for the kids,” he said. “They do great things with that money.”

Glidden’s daughters, both of whom are now healthy, received trips of their dreams from Make-A-Wish Maine, Glidden said.

“Sarah’s wish was, when she was going through chemo and all, she just visioned seeing us on a beach somewhere. So they sent us to Costa Rica for a week,” he said. “Erica was eyeballs deep in theater, in musicals, and so they sent us to New York to see ‘Hamilton.'”

The May 7 concert will run from noon to 6 p.m. at Funky Bow Brewery at 21 Ledgewood Lane in Lyman. The event is free but donations are encouraged. Donations to Glidden’s Walk For Wishes campaign can also be made at To register for Walk For Wishes, go to

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