ATLANTA — A National Football League (NFL) quarterback and a convenience store operator have more in common than one might think. For both of them, not only does it take heart and determination to be successful in a competitive market, but it also takes leadership.
It is therefore fitting that former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will deliver the final general session at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21 to close out the 2016 NACS Show.
The legendary quarterback has been a leader on and off the field over the duration of his career, accruing a number of accolades for both his athleticism and humanitarian work.
On the field, Manning is the NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection. He led the Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, making him the first starting quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams (the Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts).
Off the field, he serves as a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and the Pat Summit Foundation Advisory Board, and has his own charitable foundation. He was named USA Weekend’s Most Caring Athlete in 2002, followed by receiving the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2005. That same year, Manning was also the recipient of the Bryon “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award. Additionally, St. Vincent’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis was renamed the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent in 2007. And just last year, he received the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award.
Tying into this year’s NACS Show theme, “Meet Your Future,” Manning and his wife Ashley’s PeyBack Foundation promotes the future success of disadvantaged youth by funding assistance programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for at-risk children.
Since its inception in 1999, the PeyBack Foundation has provided more than $10 million in grants to programs serving disadvantaged children in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee. The foundation also operates and funds several of its own programs for underprivileged children. Manning serves as president, supporting the foundation financially and working actively in making all major decisions concerning PeyBack’s initiatives.
Among the ways the PeyBack Foundation accomplishes its mission of providing leadership and growth opportunities through grant funding and hosting events throughout the year, are:
- PeyBack Scholarship: Since 2009, athletic directors from schools participating in the PeyBack Classic can nominate students for this scholarship. All nominated students are involved in athletics, their community and thrive academically.
- Grant Program: This ongoing program includes the distribution of funds to organizations in PeyBack’s four-state reach.
- True Heroes: Established in September 2004 in conjunction with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, this program provides events and parties for children of the hospital. Past events have included pizza parties, holiday celebrations, tickets to sporting events, trips to the zoo, and special visits from Manning.
- Ticket Incentive Program: The foundation purchases a ticket block to each home game to allow as many kids as possible to see the Broncos play on their home field.
- Holiday Celebrations: Throughout November and December, the PeyBack Foundation hosts several holiday events for children and their families.
“Children need opportunities through which they can grow and learn, and the PeyBack Foundation strives to make these experiences a reality for the kids who need them most. From the outset, we have strived to match up the dollars we can provide with children in need and resources that otherwise might not be available to them,” Manning said.
“There are some wonderful people and organizations out there who are experts at helping kids grow up healthy and ultimately learn to become leaders. We have always felt that we can best help disadvantaged youth by assisting some of these superb existing programs.
The 2016 NACS Show, hosted by NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, continues at Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center through Oct. 21.