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Eastern Bank honors “Community Quarterbacks” with $300K in grants through Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation

Two groups dedicated to providing beds for children and families among 31 Massachusetts non-profit organizations honored by Eastern Bank CEO Richard Holbrook and Doug Flutie

Recipients also benefit from daylong workshop to strengthen their organization

BOSTON, March 24, 2010 – Two organizations that provide beds for children, individuals and families were among the 31 non-profit organizations honored today during Eastern Bank’s 6th Annual “Community Quarterback” award ceremony featuring former quarterback Doug Flutie.

The organizations were honored for their outstanding community leadership and received more than $300,000 in grants from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.  The organizations were also given the opportunity to participate in educational workshops hosted by the bank in an effort to help each navigate through the challenging economic environment.

Eastern Bank chairman and CEO Richard E. Holbrook and Flutie, the bank’s spokesman, honored the organizations before more than 100 guests during a ceremony at the bank’s operations center in Lynn. Each of the 31 organizations received a grant of $10,000 or more from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.

“Eastern Bank recognizes that non-profits need both economic assistance and business advice in these challenging economic times,” said Holbrook.  “We believe that adding an educational piece to our annual celebration will benefit these organizations for years to come, as they strive to make our communities a better place to work and live.”

The Wish Project used its grant to support its “Beds for Kids” program, which provides beds for children so that they do not have to sleep on the floor.  Each month, the program distributes about 50 beds, including mattresses, cribs, sleeper couches, cots and recliners.  About two-thirds of the Lowell-based organization’s clients are children.

Mission of Deeds, a Reading-based non-profit organization, provides beds, gently used furniture and household items to individuals and families in needs.  It has received a significant increase in requests for beds, its most costly item.  The organization receives about 100 requests for its general services each month and has helped families in more than 15 towns in Middlesex and Essex counties. 

This year, the bank enhanced its annual celebration by adding two educational workshops, which were intended to provide non-profit organizations with the tools and knowledge to thrive in the future.  The workshops were conducted by ESC of New England, a non-profit that provides educational workshops and capacity building services exclusively to other non-profits in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

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

“I’m honored to once again partner with Rich Holbrook and Eastern Bank, which continues to recognize the needs of the communities it serves,” said Flutie. “Like any versatile quarterback, Eastern Bank called an audible this year by adding an educational piece that should really help these great organizations become even more successful.”

The grants were among the almost $2.0 million donated last year to 700 non-profit organizations by the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. In six years, the “Community Quarterback” program has honored more than 230 organizations with $3.8 million in grants.

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 2010 Community Quarterback recipients are:

A Baby Center, Hyannis, $10,000

ACCESS, Boston, $10,000

American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, Cambridge, $10,000

Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Centerville, $10,000

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Roxbury, $10,000

Boston Health Care for the Homeless, Boston, $10,000

Boston Senior Home Care, Boston, $10,000

Boys & Girls Club of Lynn, Lynn, $10,000

Cape Cod Child Development, Hyannis, $10,000

Chelsea Education Foundation, Chelsea, $10,000

Children’s Law Center, Lynn, $10,000

Crossroads for Kids, Duxbury, $10,000

Dare Family Services, Somerville, $10,000

Eliot Community Human Services, Lexington, $10,000

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, Westford, $13,501

Hospice of the North Shore, Danvers, $10,000

The House of the Seven Gables, Salem, $10,000

Housing Assistance Corporation, Hyannis, $10,000

Initiative for a New Economy, Boston, $10,000

Julie’s Family Learning Program, Boston, $10,000

Lowell Transitional Living Center, Lowell, $10,000

Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Lowell, $10,500

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Boston, $10,000

Mission of Deeds, Reading, $10,000

North Shore Community Action Programs, Peabody, $10,000

Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Taunton, $10,000

Raw Art Works, Lynn, $10,000

Salem Mission, Salem, $10,000

South Shore Community Action Council, Plymouth, $10,000

The Wish Project, Lowell, $10,000

YWCA of Malden, Malden, $10,000

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 includes 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.