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Eastern Bank honors Suzanne Kenney and Project Place with the 2011 Wainwright Social Justice Award

Eastern also donates $440,000 to 39 organizations dedicated to ending homelessness

BOSTON, Nov. 14, 2011 – Eastern Bank recently honored Suzanne Kenney and Project Place with the 23rd annual Wainwright Social Justice Award.  Eastern also recognized 39 additional organizations dedicated to fighting homelessness with $440,000 in grants.
  
Kenney is executive director of Project Place, a 45-year-old nonprofit agency that serves homeless men and women in the Boston area.  The Wainwright Social Justice Award, which recognizes nonprofits and affiliated individuals who have achieved outstanding success in addressing social justice issues, was presented to Kenney last week at an evening reception attended by more than 500 people.
 
“Eastern Bank is proud to honor Suzanne Kenney and Project Place with the 2011 Wainwright Social Justice Award,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.  “Although Suzanne has accomplished much in her 16 years at Project Place and continues to do remarkable work, she seems to prefer giving the credit to others.
 
“Today, we specifically honor her and her organization for the important work they do in giving Boston’s homeless a helping hand.”

Project Place received a $25,000 donation from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation for earning the Wainwright Social Justice Award.  In addition, 39 other organizations, which address homelessness in various ways, were awarded a total of $440,000 in targeted grants from the Charitable Foundation.

“It is an honor to receive the coveted Wainwright Social Justice award and a privilege to accept it on behalf of the board and staff of Project Place,” said Kenney.  “It takes the work of an entire community who share a sense of urgency to end homelessness and joblessness.  My sincere thanks to Eastern Bank for being a major contributor and advocate in fighting homelessness.” 

Founded in 1967 as a safe haven for runaway and drug addicted teenagers, Project Place has evolved over the years in response to changing community needs.  In the early 1980's, the agency shifted its focus to adults, reflecting changes in Boston's homeless population.  Currently, they offer several job training, supportive employment and adult education programs with the flexibility and range to work with people at various skill levels.  These services help individuals experiencing homelessness reestablish themselves in society with dignity.  All programming is coupled with case management to help clients address the barriers they face in their transition to self-reliance.  More than 1,000 men and women benefit from the programs each year.

Project Place recently moved to a new "green" facility at 1145 Washington Street in Boston's South End, which has enabled them to expand the capacity of their programming and to provide affordable, permanent housing for those in need.  Project Place also provides transitional housing to women as part of their Bettys program.

The Wainwright Social Justice Award was originally created by Wainwright Bank to recognize nonprofits and affiliated individuals who have achieved outstanding success in addressing issues of social justice. 

Eastern Bank acquired Wainwright in 2010 and pledged to continue the award, while raising the accompanying donation to $25,000 from $10,000.  The award was presented during an evening reception, which was attended by more than 500 people at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England, with $7.6 billion in assets and more than 90 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 and Eastern Insurance. For more information, visit www.easternbank.com.

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