Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc.
Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc.

Press Releases

May 12, 2015 -- GLASTONBURY, CONNECTICUT -- Saturday, May 9th delivered beautiful sunny skies and clear conditions on the Connecticut River for more than 300 high school rowers who arrived at Glastonbury's new boat house at Riverfront Park. Glastonbury high school's crew team held its inaugural regatta from the boathouse, the 12th annual Mahoney Cup. Five teams competed in the day's event in 1500 meter races; the race course began near the Putnam Bridge and ended close to the boathouse, near the cheering onlookers. A new event sound system, donated by the class of 2014, helped communicate the race results to the crowd gathered there.


Hundreds of local spectators and friends and family from the visiting for schools, Avon, Shrewsbury, Xavier and Lewis Mills, gathered on the shores and the steps, patios and lawn of the boathouse to observe the intense physical sport that took place before them on the river. Ten events unfolded during the three-hour regatta, showcasing the talent and capabilities of girls and boys rowers, from novice to varsity rowers, in a variety of boats, eight-seat and four-seat shells.


Our success with this regatta is evidence of our ongoing partnership with the town and how well the boathouse and the entire park are equipped to handle the needs of our large team and our guests. The event was well received by the visiting schools, their coaches and parents. We are excited about what the future holds for this significant presence and place we now have on the Connecticut River," according to Heather Summers, Vice President of FOGRI, Inc. (Friends of Glastonbury Rowing), the volunteer board that provides support to the Glastonbury crew program. 


'Our team is looking forward to hosting many more future home races and want our thanks to be known to the Glastonbury Town employees and the Board of Education for their support in helping 'launch' our first event, " Summers continued.


Glastonbury recaptured the cup in the Mahoney Cup Regatta, an event named in honor of Eric Mahoney, a former member of the Glastonbury crew team who passed away in 2002. The varsity boat events, boys and girls, are the qualifying heats for Mahoney cup eligibility.


Following the regatta, spectators, athletes and parents took part in a christening of the two new four-seat shells that are part of the Glastonbury High School crew team fleet. Reverend Dick Allen of South Church blessed the shells which were donated through a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grant for the purchase of the shells was made possible by the Norma and Natale Sestero at the Hartford Foundation. The Sestero family where longtime Glastonbury residents who wished for their generosity to benefit groups and organizations within Glastonbury. One of the shells was named in honor of the Sestero couple and the other named to honor long-time boat launch driver and crew team supporter, Bob Valentine, who recently passed away. Valentine family members were present for the event.

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About FOGRI, Inc. - FOGRI is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational, operational and financial support to the Glastonbury High School crew program and be a resource to the community on issues relating to crew. 


FOGRI Receives a Grant to Purchase Two 4's

January 15, 2014: A grant of $45,800 has been awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc. (FOGRI) in Glastonbury for the purchase of two four-person rowing shells to be used by the boys’ and girls’ crew teams of Glastonbury High School. 

Thanks to the Hartford Foundation staff for their efforts and guidance in working with FOGRI to pursue the grant. 

Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was established in 2001 to provide educational, operational, and financial support to the Glastonbury High School crew teams. Since its inception, FOGRI has raised over $800,000, which has been used to purchase the team’s rowing shells, oars, riggers, cox boxes, safety launches and their engines and trailers, equipment trailer, docks, usage fees at Seaboard Marina, coaching staff stipends, fuel, life vests and a variety of parts and repairs for all of the equipment. The efforts of Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc. have enabled crew to exist and become one of the largest varsity sports at Glastonbury High School (GHS). The sport has been embraced by the entire community and enabled a reconnection for many Glastonbury residents to the majestic Connecticut River and the possibilities it provides for recreation and enjoyment. 

The GHS boys’ and girls’ crew teams have experienced tremendous growth and success in their competitions. They have been regular yearly participants in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Head of the Fish Regatta in New York, Connecticut State and New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships, and the girls were the 2011 State Championship winners. In May 2014, GHS crew was the Connecticut State Public Schools Rowing Association Emerson Cup Winner. They went on to compete at the national level in the National Scholastic Rowing Association Invitationals in Saratoga Spring, NY. 

The grant for the purchase of the shells is made possible by the Norma and Natale Sestero Fund at the Hartford Foundation. The Sesteros were longtime Glastonbury residents who wished for their generosity to benefit groups and organizations within Glastonbury. The purchase of the shells will allow the crew teams to expand and strengthen their rowing skills, increase individualized training, and provide opportunities to compete in four-person rowing competitions, which were previously not possible. 

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrates 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families, and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $600 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888.


FOGRI present Town Council with Check for $150,000


Members of the FOGRI Capital Campaign, Open the Doors to the River for the Riverfront Park proudly attended the Dec. 2 Glastonbury Town Council meeting to present the town with a check for $150,000. These funds were the result of the committee's individual and business solicitations during 2014 which totaled over $230,000. This is the second payment to the town as part of our partnership with them, bringing the total donated to $170,000 thus far.


Head of the Charles

For the first time in team history, Glastonbury has 3 boats in the Head of the Charles this weekend! Come and cheer on the team from the Elliot Bridge beginning at 10:00 am. The boys' 8 boat race is at 10:08, the Girls' 4 boat race is at 11:54 and the Girls' 8 boat race is at 12:48. See you in Boston!


Thousands of rowers take part in Hartford Regatta

Morning of video:
By Brian Spyros 
Published: October 5, 2014, 6:51 pm


2,300 rowers from all across New England were in Connecticut on Sunday to take part in the sixteenth annual riverfront regatta. 

The history of crew goes back to the 1800’s, so it’s been around a long time. 

“This is the kickoff for the fall season for a lot of high school and master crews across the northeast,” said regatta director Chris Hayes. 

On Sunday morning, the riverfront regatta took place on the Connecticut river. People got there before the sun even came up. More than 630 boats from 8 different states took part in it all. The goal was to be the fastest in your class out on the water. 

The teens taking part in this regatta will tell you they’ve remained dedicated to this sport more than any other. 

“Because you’re out on the water I think it’s just the change in scenery and it’s different from other sports because you’re constantly moving you can’t take any breaks,” said Glastonbury’s Cristina Wall. 

Doing this requires a great deal of strength and endurance. 

“You are working every part of your body your legs your cores your arms, everywhere,” said Isabella Araujo of Glastonbury. 

Many of the boats are more than just boats. Some of them have special designs and themes. 

“We wanted to have a story behind our boat. We wanted to do something productive,” said Ian Clemens of Glastonbury. 

This crew team from Glastonbury High School raised money for a new boat, but also donated a great deal of the proceeds to veteran foundations in the state. 

The boat also bears the names of 100 veterans, many of whom have a connection to the team. Those names are often said out loud during tough races as inspiration for the team. 

“It motivates us to pull faster,” Clemens said.