The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has established a $100,000 Greater Together Community Fund for the Town of Simsbury.

The purpose of the Greater Together Community Funds is to:

  • support the community in taking ownership around the needs in their towns
  • encourage broad and inclusive civic engagement and
  • anchor the Hartford Foundation in each town.

Grantmaking 2024

The Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee is adopting a two-step process for awarding grants in 2024, the goal being to simplify the process for all involved.

Call for Grant Interest

Potential grant seekers are encouraged to submit informal proposals which briefly describe their idea (one or two paragraphs, no more than a page).  From these, the Committee will select the ideas and organizations who will then receive formal requests for proposals (RFPs). 

Interested organizations are requested to email the brief description of ideas to  These should be submitted no later than April 30th.

Representatives of organizations funded in 2023

The Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund Announces Recipients of Our 2023 Grant Funding

Simsbury, CT 02/02/24 – The Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has announced the recipients of the 2023 grant funding cycle. After a rigorous review process, The Simsbury Greater Together Fund has awarded $65,000 in grants to 12 deserving nonprofit organizations.

This year's grant funding program was highly competitive, with a record number of applications from organizations across our community. The selection process was guided by the Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund’s commitment to supporting initiatives that address critical community needs and create lasting, positive change.

"We were incredibly impressed by the caliber of proposals we received this year," said Christine Bilotti Peterson, Chairperson at The Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee. "Each of the selected organizations demonstrated a profound dedication to our community and a clear vision for how their projects will make a meaningful impact."

The 2023 Grant Funding recipients are:

The Simsbury ABC House ($5,000) - The Simsbury A Better Chance Program (ABC) is a nonprofit organization making a difference in the lives of academically talented young men of color from underserved communities. The Simsbury ABC House was awarded a grant to assist with overdue kitchen renovations.

Gifts of Love ($8,000) – Gifts of Love is a nonprofit organization which helps meet the basic needs of individuals and families in the Greater Hartford area experiencing a short-term fiscal crisis so they can return to self-sufficiency. A grant was awarded in support of the Weekend Food Backpack Program. The program serves students in need from Simsbury to help ensure that they have access to basic necessities and can focus on their education without worrying about hunger or other financial hardships.

Cory and Donna Gabel Foundation, Inc. ($2,500) – The Gabel Basket Brigade continues to grow since it was formed in 2001 and is the primary driver of the non-profit foundation’s mission. A grant was awarded to assist in purchasing food to fill a Thanksgiving "basket" – containing a turkey, potatoes, and many more items for a family to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal. The baskets are then distributed to over a dozen community partners (Gifts of Love, Pantry Partners, etc.) who then distribute the baskets to families in need.

Healing Meals Community Project  ($10,000) – Healing Meals Community Project (HMCP) is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide healthy, organic meals to people who are in a health crisis while fostering compassion and empowering youth and adult volunteers in our communities. A grant was awarded to support this mission.

Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc. ($8,500) – Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Association is dedicated to serving the residents of Simsbury by providing efficient, effective, and advanced lifesaving emergency medical care. A grant was awarded in support of a project to transform the way VNA manages airways by replacing the traditional method of direct laryngoscopy with video laryngoscopes. This approach leads to better results for patients and higher success rates, especially when dealing with difficult airway situations. 

For All Ages ($7,000) – For All Ages is a non-profit organization based in Simsbury CT with a vision of a healthy community connected across generations. The organization’s mission is to address loneliness and ageism. For All Ages was awarded a grant to help design and facilitate the Simsbury Social Connections Project, a program which will include a conversation series to educate residents about the detrimental health impacts of loneliness and the benefits of social connection, provide actionable steps to reduce loneliness (especially for youth, teens, and older adults) and reduce the stigma associated with loneliness.

Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association, Inc. ($10,000) – The Farmington Valley VNA, Inc. has been a certified, licensed non-profit Home Health and Hospice Agency, serving the Farmington Valley community. The VNA’s mission is to provide homecare and hospice to the post-acute care patient, while also providing health and wellness services that aim at illness prevention regardless of a patient's ability to pay for services. A grant has been awarded for the development of a new, comprehensive safety program, aimed at decreasing the growing number of falls and injuries that occur in the Senior Population.

Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center ($2,500) – SMPAC is a bandshell on 7 acres with a capacity of 10,000. Originally intended to provide a home for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Talcott Mountain Music Festival, it has become far more, hosting benefit concerts, sport and dance recital events, and community gatherings. A grant was awarded which will afford underprivileged youth and/or seniors the opportunity to attend the Circus Smirkus 2024 Big Top Tour in Simsbury.

Simsbury Historical Society, Inc. ($6,000) – The Simsbury Historical Society [SHS] preserves and promotes the rich and diverse history of Simsbury through programs, outreach, and educational and social experiences that enhance historical perspectives and build on community pride. A grant has been awarded for a program entitled, "Making Simsbury's History: Connectivity Through Time," which is intended to honor Simsbury's past, present, and future.

The McLean Game Refuge ($2,000) – The McLean Game Refuge along with the McLean home are managed by the McLean Fund endowment. A grant was awarded for the purpose of updating the Game Refuge visitor map and making tear-resistant copies available free of charge at town offices, agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, and other locations.

Granby Simsbury Chamber of Commerce ($2,500) – The Granby Simsbury Chamber of Commerce is the result of a merger of each town’s individual chapters which occurred in 2022. A grant has been awarded which provides funding to further develop and market CoC’s newly created product (Chamber Guide) which equips Simsbury Chamber members to increase revenue using a "digital scorecard." The grant also allows the Chamber to hire high school student interns and train them in the use of Artificial Intelligence technology tools for real world applications.

Covenant Presbyterian Church/The Barn ($1,000) – Covenant Presbyterian Church, often referred to as “The Barn,” is located on forty acres of land in Simsbury. A group of local disc golf enthusiasts recently constructed a partial disc golf course on the property, offering a free outdoor activity that is open to the public. A grant has been awarded to provide funding to expand and improve the course to attract and accommodate more guests, make the course safer and more accessible, and highlight the natural beauty of the property.

These organizations were chosen because of their innovative approaches to addressing pressing community challenges, their demonstrated capacity for effective implementation, and their potential to create positive, sustainable change.

"We believe that by investing in these organizations and their projects, we are contributing to a stronger, more resilient community," added Ms. Bilotti Peterson. "I want to recognize the members of the Simsbury Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Board this year for serving the community with their time, skills, heart and dedication. Special thanks to board members: Greg DeFrancesco, Paul Henault, Laurie Shina man, Craig Thompson, Sarah Knortz, Shiamala Palani, Abby Wilson, and Benjamin Zeronsa. We also appreciate the partnership with the Hartford Foundation and the support of Ashley Coleman and team.”

The grant recipients will be honored at a special awards ceremony, where they will have the opportunity to share more about their projects and how the funding will be utilized.

For more information about Simsbury and its grant programs, please visit

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $948 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit or call 860-548-1888.

Media Contact:
Craig Thompson
The Simsbury Greater Together Fund

Chris Senecal, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Advisory Committee Members

The role of the Advisory Committee is to design and lead an inclusive process to identify the needs in your community, and design a grantmaking process aimed to ensure that the Greater Together Community Funds can have the greatest impact for the benefit of town residents.

The Advisory Committe members for your town are:

Greg DeFrancesco, Chairman, Craig Thompson, Vice President, Sarah Murphy, Vice President, Shiamala Palaniyandy, Christine Bilotti Peterson, Abigail Wilson

Click here to read the Advisory Committee Conflict of Interest Policy.

For questions, contact the committee at

For media inquiries, please contact Chris Senecal at