INDIANAPOLIS – When most turn on their television Sunday evening to watch Super Bowl XLVIII, fans will see the Broncos vs. the Seahawks. But for more than 1 million families in Indiana, they will be cheering on the namesake of their children’s hospital and an advocate for health.
Since 1998, Peyton Manning has had a strong public and private relationship with St.Vincent Health, one of Indiana’s largest health care systems.
The Denver Broncos quarterback solidified his commitment to Indiana’s children on Sept. 5, 2007 when he joined officials at St.Vincent Health in Indianapolis to announce the renaming of St.Vincent Children’s Hospital to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.
“We are fortunate to partner with a selfless individual who has given his time and resources off the field for the betterment of children and our overall community,” said Vincent C. Caponi, executive chairman of the board for St.Vincent Health. “Peyton has the highest respect for our health ministry, and values his time spent with its pediatric patients.”
Manning has demonstrated his commitment to children through his support of health programs like Project 18 – an 18-week health education curriculum for grades 3-5 that promotes nutrition, physical activity and holistic health. Throughout the quarterback’s 15-year relationship with St.Vincent, stretching back many years prior to the renaming of the children’s hospital, he made countless private visits to see patients and families, participated in children’s holiday parties, served as a spokesperson for various child health and safety initiatives, and provided numerous personal and professional memorabilia for children to enjoy during their stay at the hospital.
While the four-time National Football League MVP’s professional career has taken him to Denver, Manning remains committed to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent and its patients. He and wife, Ashley, co-chair an annual fundraising gala, which since 2008 has raised more than $2.1 million for the hospital. The Annual Celebration of Caring Galas have brought in major recording artists, including John Mellencamp, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, and most recently Luke Bryan. This year’s Gala will feature American Country Music Artist Jake Owen. In addition, the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year has been known to make unexpected phone calls to patients.