BUFFALO, N.Y., May 27, 2015 -- A volunteer firefighter from Maryland emerged as the winning vote-getter from among 2,166 entries in M&T Bank's "What's Important to You?" contest. Entrants were asked to explain what's most important in their lives, and then describe how they would allocate $5,000 to support what's important to them.
In her winning entry, Jennifer Williams of Ashton, Md. wrote "impacting people's lives in a positive way every day" is what's most important to her, and added that she would give the $5,000 grand prize to a young man who has cerebral palsy. She knows him from her church's youth group.
At a special presentation recently at M&T Bank's Olney branch, she presented her winnings to Matt Riordan, a recent high school graduate from Elkridge, Md., so he will have an opportunity to attend Howard Community College and study creative writing.
"Our life mission is helping teens, and we have always had a soft spot for Matt and his mom to help them however we could," Jennifer said. "Matt is so talented and has such a good heart and his mom is so hard working. This contest gave us a chance to help them even more. It's rare to hear a bank offer a contest to help others, which shows that M&T really cares."
"Jen is amazing. She helps us do a lot and she means so much to us," Matt said. "Friends and family are what's important to me. I go to bat for anybody I care about and I try to help any way that I can."
Matt has written 34 poems and is working on two novels and hopes to pursue a writing career.
"We are so impressed by Jennifer's generosity and compassion in helping this young man," said Peter Black, President of M&T's Greater Washington region. "As a community focused bank, we wanted this contest to highlight what's important and support positive actions like Jennifer's."
The "What's Important to You?" contest is part of M&T's brand communication program that includes advertising, social media and video content. The contest ran from February 1 to April 1 and was open to residents of states in M&T Bank's footprint. The 2,166 nominations were narrowed by a judging panel to 10 finalists, and the general public could vote for their favorites from April 24 to May 8. After 14,599 votes were cast across M&T's footprint, Jennifer was the grand prize winner by a wide margin. To learn more about the contest and Jennifer's story visit: https://whatsimportant.mtb.com
Founded in 1856, M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) (www.mtb.com) is one of the 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with more than $98 billion of assets and more than 650 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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