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Five high schools selected for chance to star in next Eastern Bank TV commercial
Everett, Hull, Lynn English, Middleboro, and Tewksbury high schools vying for $5,000 prize

BOSTON, Aug. 12, 2009 – Five high schools and their football teams are finalists in the competition to be featured in the next Eastern Bank television commercial, the bank announced today.

More than two dozen schools applied for the opportunity, which will bring attention to the school and its football team, and a $5,000 grand prize for the winner’s athletics department.  The deadline for submitting an application was August 7.

“I want to congratulate every school official, parent, fan and student-athlete who spent their valuable time to work together as a team to produce compelling essays and creative videos that amazed our review committee,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.

The finalists – Everett, Hull, Lynn English, Middleboro and Tewksbury high schools – will at least receive a $1,000 prize for being named a finalist.  Moreover, the bank announced that each qualified contest entrant will receive $500 for its athletics department.

“We were so impressed – and in some cases awed – by the time and effort that went into these applications, that we decided each qualified applicant should receive $500 and we should increase the finalists’ prize from $500 to $1,000,” said Joe Bartolotta, Eastern Bank’s marketing director.  “There was very little separating the top five from the next five.  It was that close.”

In order to qualify, applicants needed to answer the question: “What makes your team special?” in the form of videos, essays or photos.  Most of the entries can be viewed at www.easternbank.com/teamwork and the public is encouraged to follow future contest developments on Facebook (search “Eastern Bank”).

Eastern Bank marketing executives, along with the help of its advertising agency, Conover Tuttle Pace of Boston, and the production company, Picture Park of Boston, began reviewing the entries over the weekend and finished selecting finalists yesterday.  Each applicant was judged on its answer to the question along with other considerations, including enthusiasm and creativity.

“Initially, we thought the need for financial support would be a key factor, but it became clear quickly that all of the schools could use the money,” Bartolotta said.  “That was another reason we decided to increase the prize money.  In all, we’re going to award almost $20,000 in prize money to high school athletics departments around eastern Massachusetts.”

Interviews are now underway with the five finalist schools. The winning team will be selected in the coming weeks, with production of the television commercial scheduled for the end of August.  The commercial is scheduled to launch in mid September.

The commercial will be part of a broader advertising campaign to illustrate the value Eastern Bank’s team of banking, investment and insurance professionals brings to its customers.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England, with almost $7.0 billion in assets and more than 80 branches serving communities from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod.  Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way.  Eastern Bank’s subsidiaries include Eastern Wealth Management, 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.