First Wishes Granted from Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Program Where Teachers are Awarded $5,000 Donations to Benefit Their Classrooms or Schools - Fiesta Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

First Wishes Granted from Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Program Where Teachers are Awarded $5,000 Donations to Benefit Their Classrooms or Schools

Nov 07, 2017

Newly-named 2018 Arizona Teacher of the Year Josh Meibos selected Basis Goodyear’s Christi Owens as first of more than 150 honorees to be announced over the next month

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The first of more than 150 grants to Arizona’s teachers was presented today through Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, in partnership with azcentral. Josh Meibos, who minutes before was named 2018 Arizona Teacher of the Year, made the initial selection of Basis Goodyear’s Christi Owens to earn the first $5,000 grant.

Seven other teachers had their wishes granted by Arizona Teacher of the Year finalists, semifinalists and Arizona Education Foundation Executive Director Bobbie O’Boyle. The list of selected teachers is posted on, with daily updates.

Teachers filled out an online application form at detailing their school or classroom need and wishes are selected by random drawing to receive a $5,000 grant. More than 4,200 teachers submitted an application, a 75 percent increase from 2016’s inaugural year, from more than 110 Arizona cities. All teachers who submitted their wish receive a complimentary one-year digital subscription to azcentral.

“Receiving $5,000 to help your classroom is truly a wish come true for Arizona teachers, who are so dedicated to helping their students prepare for the next step in their life journeys,” said Steve Leach, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “We’ve seen how Wishes for Teachers has grown from our first year to this year and the ability to increase our impact by 50 percent means more students benefit with tools they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Donations are still being accepted for the Wishes for Teachers program, by texting ‘TEACHERS’ to 51555 or using the online donation form.

“Teachers give so much in their daily commitment to building our future leaders,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. “Wishes for Teachers gives a boost of support for our teachers and helps them create new educational tracks, purchase much-needed current-day equipment and inspire growth in their students.”

Fiesta Bowl Charities created Wishes for Teachers in 2016 and granted $500,000 to 100 teachers statewide, with each teacher receiving $5,000 to bolster resources in schools and benefit students. The Fiesta Bowl organization saw that many teachers spent money on their own to enhance their classroom experience and developed a program to aid teachers in that effort.

In addition to the financial gift, selected teachers have the opportunity to be recognized on-field at the 29th Annual Cactus Bowl at Chase Field.


The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year round, during and outside of bowl season.


Republic Media is Arizona’s largest media company and part of The USA TODAY NETWORK. Home to azcentral and The Arizona Republic, the company helps the community connect, understand, act and thrive by keeping people informed and giving back. From raising funds that help at-risk children and families, to sponsoring local events and so much more, Republic Media identifies problems, supports solutions and fulfills its mission to enlighten, education and empower.