Posted By: Michael Cecchin

Peyton Manning has arguably been one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League over the last 10 years. Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts 1st overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning made an immediate impact leading the Colts to the greatest single season turn around in league history going from a dismal 3-13 during the 1998 season, to a franchise best 13-3 record the following year. He has led the Colts into the post season 11 times in 12 years, and was a key component to their 2006 Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears and proved so by being named Super Bowl MVP. He has been a leader on the field and a fan favourite off through his consistency within the Indianapolis community.

The Colts all-time leader in wins, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, completions and passing yards has been just as active in improving the lives of children across the city. In 1999, the Peyback Foundation was established with the goal of promoting and working to the future success of disadvantaged and at-risk youth through assisting leadership and growth programs, which provide opportunity.  Although the Foundation promotes and works based on a broad mission statement, its ultimate goal reaches out to as many children as possible, opening doors of opportunity for more than certain groups and classifications.

Peyton Manning not only serves as the Foundation’s President, but also keeps a close tab on all operations by remaining active in all major decisions and provides financial support for its services. His goal of allowing the Foundation to grow at a defined rate per year has been successful but he continues to strive for larger and more effective strategies to establish positive and effective opportunity for the children in Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee. Whether it be the purchase of groceries and clothing or hosting events and celebrations at children’s hospitals and care facilities, the Peyback Foundation provides constant care and support.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Peyton, alongside younger brother Eli, provided assistance for those affected by the destructive storm. The brothers aided in providing relief by delivering 30,000 pounds of water, Gatorade, baby formula, diapers and pillows to the people of New Orleans. In 2007, St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis renamed its children’s hospital to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent in honor of Manning’s work with sick kids.  Manning immediately made a connection with the hospital upon his arrival in Indianapolis and has continued to work with and provide services.

Peyton Manning has easily become one of the NFL’s most marketable players over the last decade, which makes his work in the community even more special by not only inspiring those who have benefited from his work, but leading his fellow stars to do the same. Manning has received the American Dream Award for his work within the community and that of the Peyback Foundation. He has been a true leader for the Colts and a inspiring hero for the people who cheer for him night after night.

To learn more about the Peyback Foundation, visit http://www.peytonmanning.com/

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