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Community heroes to be recognized During Bank of America Day at Alliance Bank Stadium on Monday, June 27
Bank of America’s Neighborhood Champions™ mortgage helps
local heroes realize their dream of home ownership

May 5, 2005

In celebration of the characteristics that make baseball America’s favorite national pastime - discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship - Bank of America, the Official Bank of Baseball™ and the Syracuse SkyChiefs, today kick-off the Bank of America “Neighborhood Champions” program. This locally-driven recognition program offers a way for Syracuse community members to honor their teachers, police officers, firefighters and healthcare professionals by nominating them as “Neighborhood Champions,” now through May 20. The SkyChiefs will recognize four individual Bank of America Neighborhood Champions with an on-field ceremony at Alliance Bank Stadium during Bank of America Day on Monday June 27th.

The Neighborhood Champions recognition 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 knows there is greatness in every community and people who exemplify higher standards,” said Rick Parsons, Sponsorship and Regional Marketing Executive for Bank of America. “Not only are we honored to live and work among these dedicated teachers, heroic police officers, brave firefighters and caring healthcare workers, but we are also pleased to help them own a piece of the community they are so committed to serving and protecting.”

Bank of America and Minor League Baseball invite members of the Syracuse community to visit Alliance Bank Stadium to fill out a nomination application. Each nomination form requires short answers to 3 questions relating to when the nominee went above and beyond the call-of-duty, contributions to improving the community, and how the nominee has demonstrated a higher standard of commitment and service to their community.

An independent panel of third parties, including representatives from the SkyChiefs and community leaders, will review all qualifying nominations. Based on pre-established judging criteria four neighborhood champions will be named - one for each of the four professional categories. Prior to throwing out the first pitch, winners will be honored during the SkyChiefs Bank of America Day on Monday June 27th with a commemorative plaque.

“We applaud every nominated neighborhood champion for the dedication and commitment they display through their work and community involvement,” said John Simone, SkyChiefs General Manager. “These local heroes unify our community, and help them achieve a higher standard of accomplishment that serves to make our country greater. The baseball diamond is the ideal place to celebrate these great people who dedicate themselves each day to improving our community through their work and beyond.”

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 announcing its unprecedented and unique association with America's national pastime, Bank of America has strived to create programs that will 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.

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving 33 million consumer relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than twelve million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 85 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender.