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Eastern Bank honors “Community Quarterbacks” with $800K in grants through Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
Six groups dedicated to home foreclosure prevention among 49 Massachusetts non-profit organizations honored by Eastern Bank CEO Richard Holbrook and Doug Flutie
BOSTON, March 24, 2009 – Eastern Bank today honored 49 non-profit organizations with $800,000 in grants for their outstanding community leadership at its 5th Annual “Community Quarterback” award ceremony. Among them were six organizations that received “surprise” grants allocated for home foreclosure prevention programs.

Eastern Bank chairman and CEO Richard E. Holbrook and football legend Doug Flutie, the bank’s spokesman, honored the organizations before more than 100 guests during a ceremony at University of Massachusetts Boston, which was one of the organizations recognized during the event. Each of the 49 organizations received a grant of $10,000 or more from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.

The grants were among the more than $2.4 million donated last year to hundreds of organizations by the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. In five years, the “Community Quarterback” program has honored more than 200 organizations with $3.5 million in grants.

Each “Community Quarterback” recipient honored at this year’s ceremony received a “Community Quarterback” football autographed by Flutie, celebrating and symbolizing its leadership.

“Eastern Bank works hard to truly understand the needs of its communities, especially in the non-profit arena,” said Holbrook. “Organizations, such as the ones we honored today, are vital to improving the quality of life in our cities and towns. These ‘Community Quarterbacks’ demonstrate leadership and commitment – which is particularly critical during challenging times – and are an inspiration to us all.”

Among the organizations receiving grants were six that received grants of at least $10,000 each to support programs aimed at home foreclosure prevention: Citizens Housing and Planning Association, Coalition for a Better Acre, ESAC, Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders, Housing Assistance Corporation, and Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership. Unlike the other 43 recipients, these six organizations did not apply to the Foundation for grants.  Instead, the organizations were selected because of their successful track record in the area of foreclosure prevention.

“I’m proud to partner with Eastern Bank because of its longstanding commitment to putting its communities and people first,” said Flutie. “It’s been an honor over the last five years to work with Rich Holbrook on the ‘Community Quarterback’ event, which has quickly become a staple on the state’s charitable events calendar.”

The primary focus of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is to support local organizations that provide basic human services to residents of eastern Massachusetts. The organizations honored today are located in communities throughout eastern Massachusetts, from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod. While the types of organizations honored by the foundation vary greatly, the grant recipients generally provide services in the following areas: affordable housing, homelessness prevention, job readiness, family and children, human services and community healthcare.

The 2009 Community Quarterback recipients are:

ABC/Masconomet Inc., Topsfield, $10,000

Housing Assistance Corp., Hyannis, $10,000

American Cancer Society, Weston, $25,000

Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., Malden, $10,000

Bass River, Inc., Beverly, $10,000

Jewish Rehabilitation Centers for Living, Swampscott, $25,000

Bay Cove Human Services, Boston, $10,000

Lowell Small Business Assistance
Center – Community Teamwork, Lowell, $16,824

Beverly Affordable Housing Coalition, Beverly, $10,000

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Canton, $25,000

Beverly Children’s Learning Center, Beverly, $10,000

Massachusetts Youth Committed to Winning, Inc., Roxbury, $10,000

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, $10,000

Melrose YMCA, Melrose, $10,000

Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod., Mashpee, $15,000

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Boston, $10,000

Chelsea Collaborative, Inc., Chelsea, $10,000

North Shore Community College Foundation, Danvers, $25,000

Chelsea Police Department, Chelsea, $10,000

Project Bread, East Boston, $10,000

Chelsea Restoration Corporation, Chelsea, $25,000

Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corp., Boston, $10,000

Citizens for Adequate Housing, Inc., Peabody, $10,000

Saugus Family YMCA, Saugus, $10,000

Citizens Housing and Planning Association, Boston, $20,000

South Shore Conservatory, Hingham, $10,000

Coalition for a Better Acre, Lowell, $10,000

South Shore Mental Health Center, Quincy, $15,000

Crittenton Women’s Union, Boston, $10,000

South Shore YMCA, Quincy, $100,000

Enable, Inc., Canton, $26,000

Special Olympics Massachusetts, Danvers, $10,000

ESAC, Jamaica Plain, $10,000

Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc., Boston, $10,000

Falmouth Service Center, Inc., Falmouth, $20,000

Toward Independent Living and Learning, Dedham, $10,000

Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston, $25,000

United Teen Equality Center, Lowell, $10,000

Habitat for Humanity North Shore, Lynn, $10,000

University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, $15,000

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth, Carver, $10,000

Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Lowell, Lowell, $35,000

Health & Education Services, Inc., Beverly, $10,000

Wediko Children’s Services, Boston, $15,000

Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders, Braintree, $10,000

Wellspring House, Inc., Gloucester, $10,000

Horizons for Homeless Children, Roxbury, $10,000

Winchester Hospital, Winchester, $50,000

YWCA, Boston, $10,000

About Eastern Bank Corporation
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent, mutually owned commercial banking franchise in New England.  With almost $7.0 billion in assets and more than 80 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.