Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Business

M&T Bank, Bills to team up for 10th annual ‘Touchdown for Teachers’

For 10 years, M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills have teamed up to honor local educators for their service to their schools and communities with the annual Touchdown for Teachers program.

To celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary, M&T Bank 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 all of the schools throughout the 15-county region that are eligible for the competition to nominate at least one of their 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,” said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank group vice president for retail banking in Western New York.

“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. 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, through the application form at www.buffalobills.com/teachers.

The grand-prize winner will receive $2,000 in grant funds, payable to their school or district, and 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, executive vice president of business development for Pegula Sports and Entertainment. “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 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 from Erie County can be nominated.

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 aides. 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 www.buffalobills.com/ teachers. They can be submitted online, or downloaded and mailed to Pegula Sports and Entertainment, attention Sara Petrone at 199 Scott St., Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14204.

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