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03/17/2006 4:23 PM ET
Major Leage Baseball, San Diego Padres and Bank of America to build three homes with Habitat for Humanity during World Baseball Classic semi-finals and finals
Bank of America joins Major League Baseball in its ongoing hurricane rebuilding effort
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Major League Baseball, the San Diego Padres and Bank of America today announced a collaborative effort that will extend their ongoing support for those affected by the 2005 hurricanes by building three new homes during the Semi-Finals and Finals of the World Baseball Classic at PETCO Park in San Diego. All three homes, which will be built in collaboration with San Diego Habitat for Humanity, will be transported to the Gulf Coast region to benefit victims of the Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

"The needs created by the hurricanes last year continue to be great. As the attention of media and baseball fans around the world focuses on San Diego, we feel this is a perfect setting to highlight both the needs and the opportunities that exist to help those who were affected in the Gulf Coast and in communities around the country," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are proud to continue our support for Habitat for Humanity, and are pleased that valued business partner Bank of America is joining us in creating both a house and a home for three deserving families."

A number of Major League Baseball executives, San Diego Padres executives, Bank of America associates and players from the World Baseball Classic semi-finalists will join volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and Bank of America to construct the homes at a location directly adjacent to PETCO Park . The homes will be built one per day beginning an 8:00 AM PST on Saturday, March 18 and concluding on Monday, March 20 prior to the World Baseball Classic Final.

"Reaching out to communities and individuals with special and sometimes urgent needs will always be important to the San Diego Padres," said Sandy Alderson, the club's Chief Executive Officer "Accordingly, the San Diego Padres feel particularly privileged to collaborate with Major League Baseball, Habitat for Humanity International, and its local affiliate to build three homes for families devastated by the hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast last September. With this local construction effort occurring in conjunction with the inaugural World Baseball Classic here in San Diego, there is much to celebrate, both off and on the field."

In support of the build in San Diego and the overall MLB hurricane rebuilding effort, Bank of America, an official sponsor of Major League Baseball and the San Diego Padres, has donated $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity International, $70,000 of which is a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Bank of America will also be providing 75 volunteers to the three-day home build in San Diego. With an unprecedented $1.5 billion charitable giving goal over ten years, Bank of America is one of the world's most generous corporate donors, a long-standing supporter of Habitat for Humanity and a large contributor to efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Bank of America and its associates have contributed more than $5 million to provide relief to victims and rebuild the Gulf States. The bank also has announced a $100 million Community Development Banking goal to rebuild affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods in Gulf Coast areas devastated by this season's hurricanes. Most recently, Bank of America supported Habitat for Humanity and its hurricane rebuilding effort through its Keep the Change savings program, which raised more than $600,000 in late 2005.

"We are very pleased to lend our support to this worthy effort," said Robert Tjosvold, Market President for Bank of America in San Diego. "The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina demonstrates the critical need not only for the immediate future of the Gulf Coast, but for long term affordable housing that serves the needs of local communities everywhere. The rebuilding efforts of our partners are a key element of a much larger necessity."

In addition to the support by Bank of America, MLB sponsors Pepsi and Gatorade will support the project by supplying products throughout the duration of the build in San Diego. Major League Baseball's support of the hurricane rebuilding effort has been accomplished in three stages. The first phase included a league-wide initiative to raise funds for the initial Hurricane Katrina relief effort in support of the American Red Cross. The second phase occurred during the Fall Classic when it became a concentrated effort under the banner "Major League Baseball Rebuilds," which began with an initial $1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International on October 4, 2005. During the 2005 World Series games in Houston, Major League Baseball and Habitat for Humanity International built eight houses, each representing one of the eight MLB Clubs in the 2005 Postseason. In addition, Major League Baseball themed Game Three of the 2005 World Series to support the Gulf Coast rebuilding and its support of Habitat for Humanity. The worldwide broadcast highlighted ways in which fans could donate to Habitat for Humanity, including displaying the telephone number (1-800-HABITAT) and the Habitat for Humanity Web site (www.habitat.org).

In the third phase, Major League Baseball and its Clubs continue ongoing hurricane rebuilding effort this season with home builds at MLB Club ballparks and Spring Training camps. The local Club builds began in January and will continue into the 2006 Championship season. The Clubs who will be hosting builds through this phase of the program include the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres (World Baseball Classic), Oakland A's, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants. Through both phases of the Major League Baseball hurricane rebuilding effort, 20 homes will have been constructed in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity International to help displaced residents in the Gulf Coast and across the country.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for one million people. www.habitat.org.

About Bank of America
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 more than 38 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 14 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 97 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. www.bankofamerica.com

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