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Eastern Bank announces $50,000 grant program
Not-for-profit groups in 11 Middlesex County communities eligible for grants as Eastern celebrates its merger with MASSBANK
BOSTON, Sept. 10, 2008 – The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is accepting nominations from the public to help it award grants totaling $50,000 to not-for-profit organizations, the bank announced today.

The program was developed to celebrate Eastern Bank Corporation’s recent acquisition of MASSBANK Corp. – a merger that enhances Eastern’s abilities to serve consumers and businesses in Middlesex County.

The bank is accepting nominations for not-for-profit organizations headquartered in communities served by a MASSBANK office: Chelmsford, Dracut, Everett, Lowell, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Westford and Wilmington.

To nominate an organization, people are asked to complete the online nomination form at Eastern Bank's website. The grants, which were made available by the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, will be distributed in $2,500 increments to 20 not-for-profit organizations, based upon the quality of each nomination.

“We wanted to recognize MASSBANK’s service to its communities over the past 125 years, while also demonstrating our commitment to giving back to the communities that we serve,” said Richard E. Holbrook, Eastern’s chairman and CEO.  “This program illustrates Eastern’s commitment to making our communities a better place to work and live.”

Nominations must be received by October 10, 2008 and grant recipients will be announced later that month. To be eligible, organizations:

must be located in a community served by a MASSBANK office: Chelmsford, Dracut, Everett, Lowell, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Westford, Wilmington;
must have a non-profit tax-exempt classification under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
cannot have an Internal Revenue Service subclassification of 509(a)(3);
cannot have received a grant of $1,000 or more in 2008 from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation;
cannot have a primary purpose that is religious;
cannot be a private foundation.

The mission of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is to contribute, in a meaningful way, to the health and vitality of the various Greater Boston communities served by Eastern Bank. This is done through financial support of selected non-profit organizations operating within those communities.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent, mutually owned commercial banking franchise in New England.  With more than $6.6 billion in assets and 74 branches stretching from Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod, Eastern offers superior service, convenience and a full range of financial products for consumers, businesses, investors, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Its subsidiaries include Eastern Insurance and Fantini & Gorga, a real estate advisory firm.

For more information, contact: Andrew Ravens, Public Relations, Eastern Bank,(781) 598-8528, or e-mail Andrew Ravens.