EDWARD M. DOWNER III HONORED AS 2009 “DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN”

Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of Boy Scouts of America recognizes Downer’s “dedication to youth and community”



Pleasant Hill, CA, November 23, 2009 -- Edward ("Eddie") M. Downer III, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mechanics Bank, will be honored as the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen for 2009. The award recognizes Downer's dedication to youth and community and the positive role model he provides for scouts.

The award will be presented at the annual Distinguished Citizen Celebration dinner on December 1st at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, CA. Proceeds will go to Scoutreach, the Boy Scouts of America program that gives special leadership and emphasis to urban and rural Scouting programs, fulfilling a commitment to making sure that all young people have the opportunity to beneftit from Scounting.

Downer, a former scout himself, is a third generation Californian whose family founded the 104-year-old Richmond-based Mechanics Bank and has remained involved ever since. He formerly 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 and support services that benefit youths and families in Contra Costa County. A volunteer to numerous organizations dedicated to youth development, improved public education, and better community health, Downer's efforts have benefited the Richmond Boys Club, the East Bay Community Foundation, the United Way, the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, and JFK University, and the Bay Area Tumor Institute, in addition to the Boy Scouts.

Downer also has 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.

Individual tickets to the award dinner are $100. For more information or to register for the Distinguished Citizen Celebration, visit Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Boy Scouts of America.

About the Mount Diablo Silverado Council and Scoutreach

The Mt. Diablo Silverado Council serves over 21,000 youth a year in five counties: Contra Costa, Solano, Napa Valley, Lake and Northern Alameda, through a variety of Scouting programs.

The Scoutreach Division is part of Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to making sure that all young people have an opportunity to Join Scouting, regardless of their circumstances, neighborhood, or ethnic background. The program helps address developmental needs of urban and rural youth, emphasizing ethics and moral values and addressing many of the social concerns of parents and youth by preparing youth to become leaders, to accept responsibility, and to care about principles and causes beyond their own self interest.

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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 mechanicsbank.com.