While most youth athletic leagues keenly focus on their specific sport, the Glastonbury Little League (GLL) places emphasis on building courage, loyalty, character and self-confidence among the players. In keeping with this philosophy, GLL provides boys and girls ages 4-18 the opportunity to learn and play baseball and softball with every child getting equal playing time at bat and in the field, regardless of the player’s skill level. Volunteer coaches are recruited for the 110 teams in the league’s, summer and fall seasons. GLL is a charter member of Little League Baseball in Williamsport, PA.
When the 28 year-old lighting system at the Richard H. Ross Field started to fail, Don Longtin, the long-time GLL President, reached out to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to apply for a grant from the Norma and Natale Sestero Fund. The Foundation has approved a $50,000 grant to add to the league’s fundraising of more than $30,000 to purchase energy-efficient LED lighting, supporting equipment and installation.
“As a volunteer-led organization, raising funds for this project was extremely challenging, and we are incredibly grateful to receive this support from the Sestero Fund at the Hartford Foundation,” Longtin said. “This new lighting system will not only be more energy efficient, but will also be more reliable and even brighter, allowing our kids to play in a safer environment.”
Funding to support the GLL lighting project was among nearly $457,000 in grants awarded to 18 nonprofits serving Glastonbury residents through the Sestero Fund at the Hartford Foundation.
Norma and Natale Sestero were longtime residents of Glastonbury who established the fund through their charitable remainder trusts. Their fund supports organizations that benefit people and institutions in Glastonbury in the areas of culture, health, education, social welfare, and the environment, including town beautification and preservation of heritage.
Other grants awarded were:
- Community Child Guidance Clinic, Inc., $50,000 to update the waiting area and hallways, to create an environment that promotes mental health awareness and decreases the stigma for receiving services.
- Community Health Resources, $10,000 to expand its wellness programming and launch smoking cessation services for those receiving addiction treatment services at its Manchester outpatient office.
- Cuatro Puntos Inc., $9,500 to support expansion of the Glastonbury Concert Series "Singing in a New Decade."
- Glastonbury Arts, Inc., $3,500 to support the “Got Art” program, which consists of six, two-hour seminars presented throughout the year.
- Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative, $10,000 to continue its free community conversations series that bring Glastonbury residents and neighboring communities together to discuss civil rights issues of importance to the Glastonbury community.
- Glastonbury Partners in Planting, Inc., $36,462 to support landscaping of the west side of North Main Street and improvements to the gardens at Village Green Housing, an assisted housing senior community operated by the Town of Glastonbury’s Housing Authority.
- Historical Society of Glastonbury, $25,343 to support capital improvements and purchase equipment for two historic properties, the Welles-Shipman-Ward House Museum and the Museum on the Green.
- Malta House of Care, $6,000 to provide financial support to uninsured Glastonbury patients seeking medical treatment.
- National Council of Community Justice, $31,674 to continue its prejudice reduction partnership with Glastonbury High School that offers educational programs for youth and adults, as well as support and guidance for students and teachers.
- Open Doors Outdoors, $18,595 to expand its hiking program for veterans and their families.
- Operation Fuel, Inc., $10,000 to support emergency energy assistance for low- and moderate- income families living in Glastonbury.
- Planned Parenthood of Southern New England: $35,000 to support the Glastonbury Fund for Access, which provided preventative healthcare to approximately 634 patients with incomes below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level this past fiscal year.
- Rushford Centers: $50,000 to continue its intensive outpatient substance use and addiction treatment program for adolescents and adults through its Glastonbury integrative therapies program.
- The Village for Families & Children, Inc., $8,800 to support updates to the Glastonbury Second Chance Shop.
- YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc.: $50,000 to continue to support the LIVESTRONG® fitness and wellness program for adult cancer survivors and a new afterschool program “Hip & Fit” serving six afterschool sites.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $758 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.