Sestero Fund Supports Library Renovations, Healthcare Programs, Other Glastonbury Projects

Funds to support major renovations at the South Glastonbury Public Library are among nearly $140,000 in grants awarded to Glastonbury nonprofits by the new Norma and Natale Sestero Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

The library, which was closed for a year for renovations and reopened Dec. 1, received a $40,000 grant for major structural repairs and a new roof, which had been damaged by the heavy snowfalls of recent years.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the library was originally built in 1828 as a Methodist church and, in 1926, local citizens converted the building to a volunteer run library. Today, it is one of the oldest all volunteer libraries in the country and is housed in the oldest church building still standing in Glastonbury.

Norma and Natale Sestero were longtime residents of Glastonbury who established the fund in their wills to support 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:

  • Glastonbury Family YMCA: $15,000, to expand a pilot fitness and wellness program to adult cancer survivors. The program is a national model developed by Stanford University. The agency has served residents of Glastonbury since 1965. It currently serves over 1,000 individuals annually through a series of programs that promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
  • Glastonbury Martin Luther King Community Initiative: $10,000, to continue free community conversations that focus on the concept of a “Beloved Community.” Now in its seventh year, community conversations bring residents of diverse backgrounds together to hear and honor differences without animosity, while promoting understanding and acceptance of all in the community. 
  • National Conference for Community and Justice of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts: $20,325, to support its Bridges, ANYTOWN, and Youth Action Coalition programs at Glastonbury High School. Founded in 1927, the agency is dedicated to eliminating bias, bigotry and racism. It provides students the knowledge, skills and competencies to challenge bias, bigotry and racism.  
  • Rushford Center, Inc.: $39,200, to provide reduced-rate acupuncture treatments to lower-income residents and clients receiving services through its substance abuse and mental health services. Rushford provides substance and mental health prevention, treatment and recovery services statewide to more than 11,000 individuals annually, including 100 at its Glastonbury facility. The benefits of acupuncture to treat addiction are well-documented.  
  • VNA HealthCare: $15,000 for the Glastonbury Patient Independence Project. The agency will enhance its telemonitoring program by adding a wellness and independence component for patients transitioning off the program by distributing blood pressure cuffs, scales, oximeters and medical journals so patients can continue to monitor their own vital signs once the telemonitors have been removed.  

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. It receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations and has awarded grants of more than $600 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, go to or call 860-548-1888.