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Broadway Buy Out!! Washington Mutual Buys Every Seat on Broadway for NY and NJ Teachers
NEW YORK, Aug 20, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Bravo! Broadway's Ben Vereen and New York's newest bank, Washington Mutual Bank, FA, today officially launched a show-stopping "Spotlight on Teachers" program with a high-kicking event in Shubert Alley.

The inspiration behind this special performance is Washington Mutual's unprecedented buy out of every available seat on Broadway for NYC area and NJ teachers to enjoy a Saturday matinee on Nov. 16th. Over 28,000 tickets will be given to K-12 public, private and charter school teachers in the area through a nominating process at a community level, which officially begins today.

Washington Mutual is looking for people to nominate K-12 teachers who make a difference in the classroom. A past or present student, a parent of a student, or even a colleague can nominate a teacher -- it doesn't matter. The process for nominating a teacher is simple. All the nominator has to do is visit their local "WaMu" financial center beginning August 20th and fill out a form describing why their teacher is special. If they can't make it in to a financial center, the form can be downloaded and printed by visiting the "Spotlight on Teachers" page at http://www.wamucommunities.com. The nominator will need to include the teacher's name and school, and then give the form to the teacher, who will fill out their contact information and drop off the form in the mailbox or at any Washington Mutual Financial Center in New York or New Jersey.

"Teachers are one of the most important factors influencing the quality of a student's education, so we created a unique initiative to shine the spotlight on New York and New Jersey teachers," said Randy Grimm, a group manager of Washington Mutual's operations in New York and New Jersey. "We believe investments in the good work of teachers will pay the greatest dividends for students."

More than 14,000 of the nominated K-12 teachers will be randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a Saturday matinee performance on Nov. 16th.

"Spotlight on Teachers is our way of thanking teachers in the New York and New Jersey metro area for their hard work and dedication," added Grimm. "It also gives people a chance to show their appreciation for teachers who have made a positive impact in their lives." No purchase is needed to enter or win the Spotlight on Teachers drawing. Employees of the Washington Mutual family of companies are not eligible. See Official Rules for details, available at Washington Mutual financial centers or at http://www.wamucommnities.com.

WaMu in the Classroom

The Washington Mutual family of companies have been involved in education programs since 1923, beginning with a small student program. Today, supporting K-12 public education and teachers is a corporate priority and provides millions of dollars in grants annually for professional development opportunities for teachers and teacher recruitment programs, leadership training for principals, organizational development for schools, and programs that provide information about school performance to parents. Additionally, in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Washington Mutual established the largest privately funded national scholarship program for teachers pursuing National Board Certification -- the most prestigious accomplishment in the teaching profession.

WaMu's Entry in New York

WaMu launched its retail banking entry into New York City, Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey markets July 22nd with a market entry blitz that will put an end to banking as usual in Metro New York.

As part of its New York expansion plans, WaMu earlier announced it will add 40 new sites in the New York metro market within the next year. "We intend to significantly grow our market presence in Metro New York in the years to come," said Grimm. "With our Occasio store format, we have the ability to significantly expand the number of stores in the area over a relatively short period of time." The company's nationally renowned "Occasio" stores feature an open, welcoming environment, khaki-clad staff members and even a concierge. The company recently opened five of the new stores in the New York market last month.

WaMu in the NY/NJ Community

In addition to Spotlight on Teachers, Washington Mutual has two additional events planned for Metro New York to help the community understand who Washington Mutual is and what it's about. Together, this series of events helps illustrate Washington Mutual's long history of investing in the communities it serves, with a focus on education, affordable housing and volunteerism.

Walk On Home(TM)

Affordable housing is an issue Washington Mutual strongly supports. On Sept. 29, 2002, thousands of local residents will raise money for affordable housing by participating in the one of four Walk-A-Thons sponsored by the company. This is the first cross-regional event of its kind in the area, unifying community organizations from Westchester, Long Island, New York City, and New Jersey in a regional effort to increase awareness of affordable housing. Participating groups receive 100% of the funds raised and their use of the funds will be unrestricted. Washington Mutual is bearing all costs related to the walk-a-thon.

Home of the Free(TM)

Washington Mutual has partnered with the New-York Historical Society and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly to bring a unique photojournalism project to area 7th and 8th graders. Each school's photos will be exhibited at a local Washington Mutual financial center, and will be reviewed by Kennerly and a team of national civic leaders and notable media figures. The top 60 photos will be displayed, along with an exhibit of Kennerly's upcoming works, at the Historical Society from October 29, 2002, through January 19, 2003.

About Washington Mutual Inc.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. (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 June 30, 2002, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $261.28 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 http://www.wamu.com.

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SOURCE Washington Mutual, Inc.

CONTACT:          Patricia Hallock of MS&L, +1-212-213-7233,
                  patricia.hallock@mslpr.com, for Washington Mutual, Inc.; or Derek Aney of
                  Washington Mutual, +1-646-521-3327, derek.aney@wamu.net 

URL:              http://www.wamu.com.
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