BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Esplanade Association, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), today announced a long-term capital campaign to fund restoration of Boston's iconic DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. Santander – the campaign's first Corporate Champion – was honored in recognition of its $100,000 donation to the restoration efforts at a community celebration today at the Hatch Shell. Santander was formerly known as Sovereign Bank.
Joined by friends of the Hatch Shell, including DCR Commissioner Jack Murray, Energy and Environmental Affairs Undersecretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Massachusetts State Representative Jay Livingstone, Santander Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Klingler and Managing Director of US Branches David Miree, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Dropkick Murphys' front-man Ken Casey and renowned conductor Arthur Fiedler's son, Peter Fiedler, The Esplanade Association unveiled its $4 million campaign. The three-phase restoration project includes plans to overhaul the Hatch Shell grounds, modernize its sound and lighting systems, and enhance and rebuild its structural elements in conjunction with the DCR.
"I thank Santander for their generous donation and partnership in creating lasting improvements that will benefit the residents and families that enjoy the Hatch Shell for many generations to come," said Governor Patrick.
Santander's support will help kick-off the project's first phase, which includes renovations of the Hatch Shell Oval, the large grassy area best known as home of the world-famous Fourth of July fireworks display and Boston Pops concert, also widely used for picnics, recreation, movies, concerts, charity walks and other events.The $100,000 contribution will provide funding for critical design and permitting needs, and support major landscaping efforts, including the introduction of upgraded irrigation systems, high-use turf and improved drainage mechanisms, as well as beautification and plantings. The Hatch Shell last underwent a major renovation in 1991, its 50th anniversary, when the sound system and floors were significantly upgraded. Santander's commitment also launched The Esplanade Association's Corporate Champions program, designed to elicit more fundraising collaboration between Boston-area corporate institutions and the non-profit organization. "The DCR is extremely pleased that Santander has joined in our mission to restore this iconic Massachusetts landmark," said Murray. "We are committed to providing communities across the Commonwealth with the best outdoor experiences possible that improve our residents' quality of life, and we're excited to move forward with plans to enhance the Hatch Shell, a signature component of the Esplanade." Santander's donation coincides with the Bank's recent corporate name change from Sovereign Bank to Santander, completing the Bank's transformation since Santander's purchase of Sovereign in 2009. The Santander brand was introduced to retail and commercial customers on October 17, when more than 700 branches across the Bank's footprint rebranded as Santander. The move allows the Bank to leverage the breadth, expertise and resources of one of the most well-respected, strongest financial institutions in the world with the local insights and relationships of a committed, community-focused bank. The Hatch Shell commitment is an example of the expanded community efforts the Bank will bring to the markets it serves. "We're honored to be the first Corporate Champion of the Hatch Shell Renovation campaign," said David Miree. "With deep connections to the city of Boston, we are proud to align with top notch local institutions like The Esplanade Association and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and lend our support to restore such a historic landmark benefitting the community. We know how much this park means to the city and we can't wait to help make the Hatch Shell even more beautiful and accessible for Bostonians and visitors alike." The Esplanade Association's Hatch Shell capital campaign launch underscores the non-profit organization's commitment to update and improve the entire Esplanade, which runs for three miles from the Boston Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge. The Hatch Shell campaign is one of many improvement initiatives driven forward by the organization, whose goals are articulated in Esplanade 2020, A Vision for the Future, highlighting its aim to make the Esplanade the best park in the world by 2020, with sustainable, universally accessible landscaped grounds featuring improved amenities and high-quality design. "We set out with the mission to drive enhancements that make the Esplanade a world class park and restoring the Hatch Shell is a key phase in our overall plan," said Margo Newman, TEA Board Chair. "This highly-used park visited by more than three million people a year merits a world-class community space, and with the help of the DCR and Santander's generous commitment, we are well on our way to making this goal a reality." In addition to its donation to The Esplanade Association Hatch Shell restoration project, Santander is celebrating its rebranding by aligning with beloved Boston institutions, which are corporate clients of the Bank, for "Santander Community Day," featuring unique consumer experiences following the Hatch Shell launch. Santander coordinated the first-ever corporate takeover of Boston's fleet of Duck Boats, offering complimentary rides throughout the day, and treated Bostonians to complimentary Dunkin' Donuts and Kickass cupcakes pop-ups throughout the city. These activities come on the heels of Santander's recently announced "Ideas for Good" community giving campaign, which will allow customers to cast votes for community non-profits at their nearest branch through November 30, when each of the Bank's 700+ branches will announce the selection of a local non-profit that will receive a $500 donation. About Us Santander US is a top 25 retail banks in the United States by deposits, with a presence in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander's 9,218 employees serve the financial goals of American consumers and businesses through its 718 branches and 2,099 ATMs. Headquartered in Boston, Santander is supervised by the Office of the Currency of the Comptroller and is FDIC insured under its legal name, Santander Bank, N.A. Santander in the United States is a wholly-owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of the Santander Group. For more information about Santander in the United States, visit www.santanderbank.com or call 877-768-2265. Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial banking group with a presence in ten main markets. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.342 trillion in managed funds, 102 million customers, 14,680 branches – more than any other international bank – and 186,785 employees at the close of June, 2013. It is the largest financial group in Latin America and has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the northeast United States. Santander was recognized in 2012 as Best Global Bank by Euromoney, ranked as a top Greenest Global Bank in 2013 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and was named 2013 Sustainable Global Bank of the Year by the Financial Times. Santander's attributable profit rose 29% from a year-earlier to EUR 2,255 million in the first half of 2013. For more information about Santander, visit www.santanderusa.com. About the DCRThe Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency's mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. About The Esplanade AssociationFounded in 2001, The Esplanade Association is a dynamic park friends group dedicated to making life better on the Esplanade. The Esplanade Association partners with the DCR as well as with other non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals to complete important capital projects and to establish enriching programs at the park. Each year, The Esplanade Association brings more than 2,500 volunteers to the Esplanade to help maintain and care for the park. To learn more about The Esplanade Association, please visit our website at www.esplanadeassociation.org