New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been named a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalist for the second consecutive year.
The league announced on Sunday that Manning, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals and Greg Olson of the Carolina Panthers are this year’s finalists. Each team nominates one player who has had a positive influence on their community. This is the seventh time Manning has been nominated by the Giants.
The winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
"Larry, Eli and Greg are not only top-tier athletes, but also men of great character, integrity and generosity of spirit. Their passion for community and helping others is having a positive impact on countless individuals and communities, and it's something we should all celebrate" said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We commend these impressive men for setting the standard for NFL players and athletes nationwide."
From the NFL’s statement, here is a summary of Manning’s work on behalf of children:
Manning is a fervent champion for causes involving children. He has served as the Chair of the New York March for Babies for the past seven years, helping raise over $25 million since. Manning also spearheads "Tackle Kids' Cancer," an initiative with Hackensack University Medical Center. Prior to kicking off an extensive media campaign to raise awareness of this cause, Manning spent time with patients and doctors at the hospital's pediatric cancer center, learning more about the greatest needs in cancer research.
Dismayed by the existence of only one children's hospital in Mississippi, Manning and his wife founded the Eli and Abby Manning Children's Clinics in 2007, kicking off a five-year fundraising campaign that raised close to $3 million. Building on that accomplishment and model, they also established the University of Mississippi Medical Center Manning Family Fund, which raised nearly $1.5 million in its first year.