A little over 3 years ago, local musician Don Campbell sat down with his business manager and shared the idea of hosting a waterfront concert. As someone who always loved boating, Don wanted to combine a concert on the water with a fundraiser to support cancer research.
Don chose the Maine Cancer Foundation as the beneficiary and 100% of the proceeds would benefit their mission, to reduce the impact of cancer in Maine.
He couldn’t have known it at the time, but his idea would soon blossom into a popular summer fundraising event that has since raised an estimated total of $167K for the non-profit organization.
The event, now in its third year, took place on August 19 on the Falmouth side of Cow Island. Attendees arrived in a variety of boats, including motor yachts, sailboats, lobster boats, paddleboards, kayaks, and even inflatable unicorns, all excited for a day of music on the water. It was a family-friendly gathering, with many families bringing their kids and pets along.
“This year alone, we raised a whopping $82,317 for the Maine Cancer Foundation,” said Don. “We are so appreciative to each and every individual, organization, sponsor and partner who contributed their time, resources and effort to make this event a resounding success.”
For Don, the mission to fight cancer is a personal one. His mother had battled the disease and passed away in 2022. He also knew so many others who were and still are battling cancer.
“My mother played such an integral role in supporting me in music. She was an 84-year-old Irish dynamo with a captivating sparkle in her eyes. She was always so kind and selfless and she had such a wonderful sense of humor.”
Although she is no longer with us, Don said his mother was fully aware of the event and how successful it had been in its first year. It was her, he explained, that encouraged him to push forward with it.
The choice to host the event in Casco Bay is also one of significance to Don, as the ashes of both his mother and father are scattered there.
“Music can create a magical atmosphere where spirits shine and hope thrives, and nothing could be a better example of this than this year’s Flotilla,” he said. “It takes a village, and we’re just so incredibly grateful for those who came to support our cause.”