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Edward ("Eddie") M. Downer III, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mechanic’s Bank, honored by the Bay Area Tumor Institute

Mr. Downer was awarded the Institute's Living Example award for 2009

Oakland, CA, April 2, 2009--Edward ("Eddie") M. Downer III, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mechanic’s Bank, was honored with the Bay Area Tumor Institute's Living Example award for 2009. The award recognizes Downer's community leadership, his decades-long work as a community banker dedicated to the growth of Contra Costa County businesses, and the philanthropic values he brought to the banking institution he chairs.

The award was presented at the Tumor Institute's annual black tie fundraising dinner on Thursday, April 2nd at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel, attended by over 200 leaders from the medical, business, civic, and banking communities. The event raised nearly $100,000 to support the organization's lifesaving work.

Downer, a third generation Californian whose family founded the century-old Richmond-based Mechanics Bank and has remained involved ever since, attended San Rafael Military Academy, Stanford University, and the Pacific Coast Banking School, served eight years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and then joined the bank, serving as president from 1971 to 1981 and as chairman for the past 28 years.

Throughout his career, Downer has helped to promote the growth of businesses, jobs, tax revenues and services to citizens in Contra Costa County. He served as president, chairman or board member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Opportunity West, the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Pacific School of Religion – Center for Ethics and Social Policy, and St. Mary’s College School of Economics and Business Administration Advisory Board.

A volunteer to numerous organizations dedicated to improved public education, better community health, and youth development Downer's efforts have benefited the Richmond Boys Club, the Boy Scouts, the East Bay Community Foundation, the United Way, the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, and JFK University, in addition to the Bay Area Tumor Institute.

About Mechanics Bank:

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $2.7 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 33 offices across Northern California. For more information, please visit

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