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United Way of King County Presents Washington Mutual the Spirit of Puget Sound Award; Banking leader wins top corporate philanthropy award for outstanding community giving

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 9, 2003--Washington Mutual, Inc., (NYSE:WM) took home the top honors at United Way of King County's Spirit of Caring Awards ceremony held last night at the Seattle Sheraton. Twenty-two others were also recognized in a total of nine categories.

Each year, United Way of King County recognizes select companies and individuals who show exceptional commitment to strengthening the Community Safety Net. Spirit of Caring winners are recognized within their industries and communities as leaders in making King County a better place to live.

The Spirit of Puget Sound Award is recognized as the highest achievement for corporate philanthropy in King County. This award recognizes outstanding community involvement and campaign excellence, and also a consistent pattern of outstanding campaign results over time.

Washington Mutual's campaign raised an estimated $1.75 million, with half of that going to United Way of King County's Community Safety Net Fund. The Fund works toward achieving five community goals by working with more than 150 partner agencies, two special community initiatives addressing homelessness and early child development, the United Way of King County's Volunteer Center and venture funding grants for innovative health and human service programs.

"United Way of King County is very proud to present this award to Washington Mutual," said Ginny Meisenbach, who co-chaired this year's campaign with her husband, John Meisenbach, president of MCM -- A Meisenbach Co. "They have displayed incredible generosity through workplace campaigns, volunteering and major corporate giving initiatives."

Washington Mutual Community Campaign Director Kimberly Morris Thill helped secure strong management support, which included a dollar-for-dollar match on all gifts, paying processing fees for designated pledges and sponsoring United Way of King County events and its Loaned Executive Program.

"Our employees have a long tradition of giving generously -- both with their time and their dollars," said Thill. "The Spirit of Puget Sound Award is a terrific acknowledgement of their commitment."

United Way of King County is a nonprofit community-impact organization supporting King County since 1921. Through the Community Safety Net Fund, United Way of King County assesses needs through data-driven research to address the community's most pressing needs. A 61-member volunteer board of directors governs United Way of King County, and several hundred other community volunteers provide direction for programs and activities. A professional staff supports all efforts. For more information, please visit unitedwayofkingcounty.org.

    CONTACT: United Way of King County
             Adam S. Bashaw, 206/461-3740
             Washington Mutual
             Mary Kelley, 206/377-6878

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual