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Buffalo Bills, M&T Bank kick off 9th annual 'Touchdown for Teachers' contest

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Mon, Mar 6th 2017 02:20 pm

Western New Yorkers asked to nominate outstanding educators in community

For the ninth consecutive year, the Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank are calling on fans to nominate Western New York's "Hall of Fame-caliber" educators for the 2017 M&T Bank "Touchdown for Teachers." The program recognizes local teachers for extraordinary service to their schools and communities.

This year, the Bills and M&T are hoping to gather the most nominations in the program's history. To make it happen, they're challenging each of the schools throughout the 15-county region that are eligible for the competition to nominate at least one of their outstanding teachers.

"The 'Touchdown for Teachers' program has allowed M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills to provide some of our region's best educators with the recognition they deserve," said Erica Muhleman, executive vice president of business development for Pegula Sports and Entertainment. "Our children rely on the hard work and dedication of local teachers to achieve their fullest potential, and it is an honor to celebrate their exceptional efforts."

Five finalists will be selected based upon involvement in school and community, the significance of his or her positive impact, and the person's proven commitment to the education of students. One of the five finalists will be named the grand-prizewinner.

Educators must be nominated by the public through the application form at buffalobills.com/teachers no later than Friday, March 31. Finalists will be notified no later than Friday, April 14.

"You may not see their names next to Jim Kelly or Thurman Thomas on the Bills' Wall of Fame, but our community is home to so many Hall of Fame-caliber educators who truly are heroes for local students and their schools," said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank retail market manager in Western New York. "As we celebrate the ninth year of the 'Touchdown for Teachers' contest, we encourage students, parents and school officials to take a moment to nominate an educator who's making a difference today."

Each of the five finalists and a guest will be invited to a Bills private event, where they will be honored, and the winner of the 2017 "Touchdown for Teachers" program will be announced.

The grand prizewinner will receive $2,000 in grant funds, payable to his or her school or district, to advance efforts to improve the school community; and an in-class visit from a Buffalo Bills player or alumnus.

The four remaining finalists will receive $500 in grant funds, payable to the school or district to strengthen their impact.

To be eligible, educators must live in one of 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 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 buffalobills.com/teachers. Forms can be submitted online, or downloaded and mailed to Pegula Sports and Entertainment to the attention of Sara Petrone at 199 Scott St., 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.

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