For 10 consecutive years, M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills have teamed up to honor local educators for their extraordinary service to their schools and communities with the annual Touchdown for Teachers program.
To celebrate the program's 10th anniversary, M&T and the Bills are challenging the community to make this year one for the record books by submitting the most nominations in Touchdown for Teachers history. They are encouraging each of the schools throughout the 15-county region that is eligible for the competition to nominate at least one of their exceptional educators.
"Stories of the world's greatest athletes often start with their work ethic—they're the first people in the training facilities and the last ones to leave every day. In the 10 years since Touchdown for Teachers was launched, we've seen the same dedication and hard work among the Hall of Fame-caliber educators we've honored," said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank group vice president for retail banking in Western New York. "These teachers are often at their schools well before the sun rises, and they're still hard at work after the sun sets, either coaching teams, leading student groups or building lesson plans. They are all-time greats who help local students shine."
Five finalists will be chosen based on involvement in the school and community, degree of positive impact, and their demonstrated commitment to education. One of the five finalists will be named the grand-prize winner. Educators must be nominated by the public no later than Friday, March 30, 2018, through the application form at buffalobills.com/teachers.
The grand prize winner will receive:
-$2,000 in grant funds, payable to their school or district
-An in-class visit from a Buffalo Bills player or alumnus
The four remaining finalists will receive $500 in grant funds, payable to their school or district to further their impact.
"M&T Bank has made a very positive impact on the teaching community by honoring some of its best for a full decade now," said Erica Muhleman, Pegula Sports and Entertainment's executive vice president of business development. "It is an honor for the Buffalo Bills to partner with M&T Bank on this initiative and bring unparalleled recognition to our region's top educators."
Since the program began, Touchdown for Teachers has recognized 36 outstanding educators with unique game-day and Bills experiences, and awarded a total of $17,400 to local school districts on behalf of the honored teachers. Each year, the program receives about 500 nominations, and it has received more than 2,200 nominations since its inception.
Teachers nominated must live in the following counties:
Buffalo-area: Erie Wyoming Genesee Orleans Niagara Chautauqua Cattaraugus Allegany
Rochester-area: Monroe Wayne Livingston Ontario Yates
Beyond Buffalo and Rochester:
McKean County, Pennsylvania
Ontario County, Canada
Educators qualifying for nomination to this program are defined as individuals directly involved in the instruction and education of students, including but not limited to: teachers, guidance counselors and teacher's aids. School and district administrators are not eligible for recognition as finalists but are welcome to nominate educators for recognition.
Information and nomination forms are available at buffalobills.com/teachers. They can be submitted online, or downloaded and mailed to Pegula Sports and Entertainment attention Sara Petrone at 199 Scott Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14204.
M&T Bank is the Official Bank of the Buffalo Bills and the exclusive provider of Bills checks and check cards. Further information about different fan contests and promotions through M&T Bank is available at www.facebook.com/mybillscard.
About M&T Bank
M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.