CINCINNATI — A spike in donations to the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation came from the most unlikely source on Monday morning.
Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown throw to Tyler Boyd in a fourth-and-12 situation on Sunday night not only sealed a win against the Ravens to knock them out of the playoffs, but it also secured the Bills’ first playoff berth since 1999.
Fans in Buffalo were understandably thrilled, and they wanted to let Dalton know it. While the Bills organization promised to send the Bengals some Buffalo wings, the fans decided to donate to Dalton’s cause.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton joked to the media on Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base, and they’re all pretty excited.”
Dalton pulled out his phone to check the numbers on donations to his foundation, noting that most of them were in $17 increments. He thought about it for a moment, then he realized why.
The $17 dollars represent the 17 seasons between playoff berths for the Bills.
“We’re appreciative of that. Obviously they’re helping out a good cause. It’s been pretty fun to see the reaction we’ve gotten,” Dalton said.
Dalton tweeted Monday evening: “In the 24 hours since the 1st donation came in, over 2500 donors and just over $57,000 and counting! Last update for the night! I will update tomorrow. We can’t thank y’all enough!”
Dalton and his wife, Jordan, formed the foundation after he was drafted by the Bengals in 2011. The foundation “provides support, resources, opportunities and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families.”
Many of the foundation’s community outreach programs revolve around helping children, especially those with special needs, and their families in greater Cincinnati.
Although it’s hard to determine where the idea to donate to the Daltons’ foundation started, the idea appeared to gain traction on social media shortly after the Bengals sealed the Bills’ playoff fate and continued through Monday afternoon.
The foundation issued a statement Monday:
“Buffalo fans are a class act,” it read. “Thank you for showing your appreciation to Andy Dalton by supporting the families we serve. All of your donations will go to our outreach programs. We can do more with your help.”