CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 2002--
In the spirit of the holiday season, WaMu held a toy drive and donated
$2,500 to Toys for Tots; toys were delivered today by Santa Claus
What are the odds that Santa Claus would be refinancing his home
loan and scheduled to close the loan by Christmas?
That's the question that Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) employees
were asking themselves last week. Santa Claus is the customer's real
name and he has been a Chicago area resident for 58 years.
"I'm not surprised that Santa Claus is refinancing, after all
mortgage rates are near record lows and homeowners across the nation
are taking advantage of this opportunity," said Dusica Cvorovic,
Santa's loan consultant at Washington Mutual. "Obviously we've been
good to Mr. Claus since he's coming back to us! And, we're having a
bit of fun while supporting a great cause."
"Yeah, even I'm taking advantage of the good mortgage rates," said
Santa Claus, Washington Mutual customer and noted toy delivery expert.
"But more importantly, I'm glad that we brought some joy to kids at
Christmas time -- that's what it's all about!"
In honor of its customer, Washington Mutual donated $2,500 to Toys
for Tots and employees in the Chicagoland area held a toy drive for
the organization. Customer Santa Claus delivered the donations today
to the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program based in Chicago.
"With Santa Claus as a customer, we thought it would be a terrific
idea to partner with him and make a contribution to Toys for Tots,
leveraging our financial backing and Santa's delivery expertise," said
Mike Axelrood, first vice president for retail lending at Washington
Gunnery Sergeant Kofahl with Toys for Tots said that this year the
Foundation has experienced its most difficult fundraising and toy
raising challenge since 1994. As of early December 2002, the
Foundation had raised only 75 percent of its 2002 revenue goal and
only 60 percent of its corporate toy donation goal. "This year there
may be more children in need than ever before because of the economic
downturn," said Kofahl. "We want every child to experience the joy of
Christmas and Washington Mutual and Santa's contribution came just in
About Santa Claus
Santa Claus is this gentleman's legal name and he has been living
in the Chicago area for 58 years. Mr. Claus has been a Washington
Mutual customer for a little more than a year. In addition to his
pastime as "toy delivery expert," Mr. Claus owns a construction
company and enjoys volunteering his time with church organizations,
local schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and in senior centers.
About Toys for Tots
Created in 1947, Toys for Tots has grown from an initial
collection and distribution of 5,000 toys to needy children of Los
Angeles to the banner campaign at Christmas 2001 when Marines
distributed over 13.2 million toys to 6.1 million needy children
throughout the nation. During last year's campaign, the Marine Toys
for Tots Foundation supplemented local collections with 7.3 million
toys valued at over $40 million. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an
IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not for profit charity, is the fund raising
and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for
Tots Program. Donations are deductible on federal income tax returns.
If you wish to support the Toys for Tots program, visit the Marine
Toys for Tots Foundation Website at www.toysfortots.org for more
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM)
is a national financial services company that provides a diversified
line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized
businesses. At September 30, 2002, Washington Mutual and its
subsidiaries had assets of $261.10 billion. Washington Mutual
currently operates more than 2,500 consumer banking, mortgage lending,
commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices
throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are
available at www.wamu.com.
Editor's Note: Photos available.
||Olivia Riley, 206/377-3636