BOSTON, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, today announced that a replica of a racing helmet worn by Fernando Alonso, world-renown Scuderia Ferrari driver, will be auctioned for charity to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This one of a kind, autographed and specially crafted helmet is an exact replica of the helmet worn by Alonso in almost every Formula 1 race this year. The auction of this item presents an opportunity to own an exclusive part of Formula 1's historic year and is not available for purchase.
Alonso autographed the helmet when he joined Sovereign-Santander and the President & CEO of the American Red Cross in the Greater New York area in ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on November 20, 2012. At the bell ceremony, Sovereign-Santander highlighted its support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts with a $250,000 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The Bank is matching up to $500,000 for all donations made in Sovereign-Santander branches by team members and clients of the Bank. Funds raised through the helmet auction will also go toward American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts.
"We're pleased to have this unique opportunity to continue to give back to the communities where our clients and team members have been severely impacted," said Jorge Moran, President & CEO of Sovereign Bank, and Santander US Country Head. "Sovereign-Santander is appreciative of the support of partners like Fernando Alonso who help us continue to raise awareness and much needed donations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts though the American Red Cross."
Bidding for the autographed Alonso helmet will kick off on the Charity Folks website on December 6, 2012 and continue until December 20 at 4pm EST. Fans and interested bidders should visit the auction site for more information and to place bids.About Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso won Formula 1 World Championship Titles in 2005 and 2006. He began to make his mark at an international level: third in the '95 World Championship and first the following year. In 1997, the young Spaniard took the titles in his home country and in Italy in the Inter-A category: he took the former title again in 1998, when he also came second in the European championship. This performance earned him a seat in the Formula Nissan Campos team and won the championship the first time out. On the 13 th of December 1999, at Jerez, the Minardi team gave Fernando his first taste of driving a Formula 1 car. In 2002, his manager, Flavio Briatore, secured him the role of test driver for Renault, which would prove useful experience. In 2004, he took his first title in 2005, with one round remaining, after a duel with Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren, winning seven races on the way. He did the double months later, again in Brazil, but this time battling a rival by the name of Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari. In 2007, his move to McLaren ended prematurely. Fernando won four Grand Prix, with the title going down to a three-way battle with teammate Hamilton and eventual winner Raikkonen in the Ferrari. Fernando's second stint at Renault was not so successful. After a difficult start, 2008 ended with two good wins in Singapore and Fuji, while 2009 was a barren year in which he finished ninth in the championship. September 30, 2009 marks the date that Alonso announced his move to Ferrari. In his debut season with Ferrari, Alonso finished ten times on the podium, including five wins. At the final round in Abu Dhabi he missed out on the Driver's title by the smallest of margins. In 2011, the Spaniard drove his second season with Scuderia Ferrari, finishing fourth in the Drivers' championship, with ten podiums and one win in the British Grand Prix to his name, a win that came 60 years after the Scuderia's maiden Formula 1 victory, taken by Jose Froilan Gonzalez. About CharityFolks.com CharityFolks.com is an online marketplace for high-profile charity auctions where celebrities, brands and individuals come together to support causes they are passionate about. Charity Folks has raised more than $25 million for charity auctioning unique experiences like the rights to name a new species of monkey, the chance to be Lady Gaga's roadie, a private meet-and-greet with "The Boss," an on-stage duet with The Jonas Brothers & much more! About Santander Holdings USA, Sovereign Bank and Banco SantanderSantander Holdings USA, Inc. (SOV:US) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A., and parent company of Sovereign Bank, N.A. and Santander Consumer USA. Banco Santander is a retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets: Spain, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S. Founded in 1857, Santander has 100 million customers, approximately 14,700 branches – more than any other international bank – and more than 191,000 employees. For more information on Santander, visit http://www.santander.com. Sovereign Bank, N.A. is a financial institution with principal markets in the northeastern United States. Sovereign has more than 700 branches, about 2,300 ATMs, and approximately 8,600 team members. For more information on Sovereign Bank, N.A, visit http://www.sovereignbank.com or call 877-SOV-BANK. SOURCE Sovereign Bank
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