Durham Bulls Announced the 2005 Bank of America Neighborhood Champions Recognition Program Honorees

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Community Heroes Recognized For Exceptional Community Dedication

Neighborhood Champions
The Durham Bulls honored the Bank of America Neighborhood Champions at a recent home game. Winners include (l to r): Assistant Fire Marshall Edward Reid, Master Patrol Officer Eric L. Hester, Dr. Evelyn Schmidt & Educator Denise Hobbs. BOA Representative Sanj Topiwala (far right) helped with the presentation.

The Durham Bulls and community leaders have named the 2005 Bank of America “Neighborhood Champions.” The Neighborhood Champion honorees are Eric Hester; Denise Hobbs; Dr. Evelyn Schmidt; and Edward Reid.

Bank of America Neighborhood Champions is a locally-driven recognition program that offers a way for community members from around the country to honor their teachers, police officers, firefighters and healthcare professionals by nominating them as “Neighborhood Champions.” The program also provides these professionals – typically among the least likely to qualify for and own a home in the communities they serve – with information about the bank’s Neighborhood Champions™ mortgage product, helping them to realize their dream of home ownership.

Bank of America’s “Neighborhood Champions” winners were selected from dozens of submissions to honor individuals from local communities who exemplify higher standards in four professional categories: teachers, police officers, firefighters and healthcare workers. One Neighborhood Champion representing the Durham Bulls was selected for each of the four professional categories for demonstrating exceptional community dedication above and beyond the call of duty.

For four consecutive home games, Bank of America and the Durham Bulls celebrated each Neighborhood Champions honoree individually with pre-game ceremonies. On July 3, 2005, all four Neighborhood Champion honorees were recognized together on Bank of America Day at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park . Sanj Topiwala, representative of Bank of America Mortgage, presented a gift bag, courtesy of the Bank of America and the Durham Bulls, to each Neighborhood Champion.

The following is a list of the Durham Bulls and Bank of America Neighborhood Champions.

Eric Hester is a Durham Police Officer for the City of Durham and was nominated by Edward E. Sarvis, Jr., who said of Eric Hester in his nomination:

“Officer Hester has a passion for empowering residents that live in the District Two community to get actively involved in making their community safer.”

Denise Hobbs is a Homebound Teacher for the Durham Public Schools’ Hospital School and was nominated by Richard Lemke, who said of Denise Hobbs in his nomination: “Ms. Hobbs serves as cheerleader, disciplinarian, teacher, counselor, and substitute parent, which describes an effective teacher.”

Edward Reid is an Assistant Fire Marshal of the City of Durham Fire Department and was nominated by Carmella Blakney, who said of Edward Reid in her nomination: “Eddie recently developed a fire inspection database, which meticulously tracks the annual fire inspections for area businesses and daycares. He not only worked on this after hours, but he also trained every member of our fire suppression division.”

Dr. Evelyn Schmidt is an Executive Director of Lincoln Community Health Center and was nominated by Katie B. Galbraith who said of Dr. Evelyn Schmidt in her nomination: “Colleagues describe Dr. Schmidt as a bundle of energy, a soldier on the battlefield – tirelessly dedicated to helping the underserved and to improving the health of your community.”

“We saw many impressive submissions in the judging process,” said Mike Birling, General Manager of the Durham Bulls, “It was not an easy decision, but the judges felt that these four individuals display higher standards in their professional and community dedication, and deserved to be celebrated as one of our local heroes.”

The Neighborhood Champions honorees for the Durham Bulls’ game are among other great community leaders. Neighborhood Champions, representing 88 other Minor League Baseball teams from across the country are recognizing their own Neighborhood Champions winners for their contributions to their communities during similar Bank of America Day celebrations on or around July 4th weekend.

The Bank of America Neighborhood Champions recognition program also supports the bank’s Neighborhood Champions™ mortgage product. Available nationally, the Neighborhood Champions mortgage product helps teachers, police officers, firefighters, healthcare workers and workers in related professions overcome the high cost of home ownership. It features greater flexibility with credit scores and credit histories, no income restrictions and requires little to no down payment. Consumers can learn more about this exclusive program or apply for Neighborhood Champions mortgage financing or learn about other Bank of America borrowing solutions by contacting a Bank of America mortgage specialist at 1-800-344-9403.

Since becoming the Official Bank of Baseball, Bank of America has strived to create programs that build stronger, more vibrant communities, from the national level with Major League Baseball to the local level with Minor League Baseball and Little League Baseball. The Bank of America Neighborhood Champions recognition program is just one way the bank is working to strengthen the fabric of the communities where its customers and associates live, work and play.

Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story.

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