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Final fundraising push underway to keep City of Lowell swimming pools open

“Make a Splash” program needs $5,000 more to reach fundraising goal


LOWELL, June 28, 2010 – The City of Lowell will open three swimming pools this Thursday, July 1, thanks in part to a fundraising effort that so far has generated almost $20,000 in donations and pledges.

However, another $5,000 in public donations is needed to ensure the pools will remain open all summer, so the city and Eastern Bank are collaborating on a final push to meet the fundraising goal, city and bank officials announced today.

“We’re pleased with the results so far, but we’re hoping others in the community can step up and help us meet our fundraising goal,” said bank President Robert Rivers.  “The money will guarantee that the city’s youth and their families will have a safe and fun place to go this summer.”

Dubbed “Make a Splash in Lowell,” the unique public-private partnership is attempting to raise $50,000 – with half coming from public contributions and half from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, which is matching donations dollar for dollar. About $20,000 in donations and pledges have been received, putting the total amount raised at $40,000 with the Foundation’s match.

The effort was launched in March, when reductions in state aid were jeopardizing the city’s ability to open its swimming pools this summer. Donations can be made at any Eastern Bank branch in Greater Lowell or online at www.easternbank.com/makeasplash.  The online donations are being arranged through the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, which is supporting the initiative by assisting with the fundraising effort.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has made a donation to this effort, not to mention Eastern Bank, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation and the team at City Hall that made this campaign a reality,” said Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch. “We’re optimistic that we’ll meet our fundraising goal.”

In 2008, Eastern Bank increased its presence in Middlesex County and the Merrimack Valley with its acquisition of MASSBANK Corp.  With nine branch offices in the Greater Lowell area, the bank is focused on serving these communities with the same level of commitment it has demonstrated in communities throughout eastern Massachusetts, Rivers said.

The mission of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is to contribute, in a meaningful way, to the health and vitality of the various eastern Massachusetts communities.  This is done through financial support for selected nonprofit organizations operating within those communities.  In 2009, the foundation donated more than $2.0 million to numerous eligible organizations across eastern Massachusetts.

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.