DSC 0090 resized 600Santander Bank officials present HAC’s Julie Wake (third from right) with a $1,000 large mock-up check last week. On hand to present her with the check were bank manager Mwanyota Allen (from left), tellers Schericia Barber, Gerry Bowen and Laura Lacina, bank manager Autumn Banks and bank senior vice president Brian Devaney.

The people have spoken and collectively they have chosen HAC as a local non-profit worthy of backing. That message was sent by patrons of the two Hyannis branches of Santander Bank.

Santander, which purchased Sovereign Bank last year, recently held a competition at each of its branches on Cape Cod, asking customers to vote for a charity it believed should be awarded $500 to support its programs and services.

In downtown Hyannis and on West Main Street, Hyannis, bank customers voted for HAC. Last Wednesday at the West Main Street branch bank officials presented Julie Wake, director of communications and development for HAC, with a mock-up check for $1,000 – as well as a real $1,000 check – that showed the community’s appreciation for the work being done at the non-profit.

“It is a great organization,” Brian Devaney, senior vice president for Santander, said of HAC.

Several of his fellow employees including Autumn Banks, the manager for the downtown branch, and bank teller Laura Lacina, have benefitted from HAC programs over the years.

Banks took the first time homebuyers class and took advantage of the down payment assistance program, using that as the foundation for purchasing a home in Yarmouth two years ago.

And Lacina purchased a three-bedroom condo in Marstons Mills in 2005 through a HAC housing lottery. There she raised her two children, and found a supporting environment in the condo complex. “The 30 homes there, we are more than a community. We are like a family,” she said.

Lacina serves as a beacon of hope for those currently waiting to find affordable housing on Cape Cod. She had put her name into the lottery three times prior to 2005. “It does work,” she said of the process.