ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — **Peyton Manning had a chance to take pictures and interact with some of the organizations and kids impacted by grants from his PeyBack Foundation. The foundations goal is to assist programs that provide development opportunities to disadvantaged youth. This year the foundation distributed over $1 million given to 144 youth-based organizations across Colorado, Tennessee, Louisiana and Indiana.
"I've always felt it's important to help out the communities that have helped me out and helped my family out," said Manning. "We've had a major fundraiser here in Colorado every spring and had it last summer and it raised a lot of money. The money just comes into the foundation and goes back out to the various organizations that apply for grants.
I think when you hear the feedback from the organizations that it does make a difference, I think it tells you you're doing something right," says Manning.
Of the organizations that were given grants, five of them came out to accept their grants from Manning after practice on Wednesday.
Big City Mountaineers provides wilderness mentoring expeditions for teens all over the country. The PeyBack Foundation's donation will help them to provide more backpacking trips for the kids they mentor.
The Broncos took to the field to begin OTAs with the season just a few months away. Here are shots from Wednesday's action. (All photos by DenverBroncos.com digital staff)
"We are incredibly grateful and humbled for the opportunity to receive a grant," said Bryan Martin, Executive Director of Big City Mountaineers. "Kids come into these trips with questions in their lives and they think that some things might not be possible and these trips make them believe that anything is possible."
OpenWorld Learning provides after school and summer computer programming and robotics classes for third to seventh grade students. CEO Lea Ann Reitzig says the grant will allow them to provide computers to their youth after they leave the program.
"It was so exciting when we found out that we were being funded by the PeyBack foundation and to know that 80 additional students will get to go to summer camp with OpenWorld Learning this year," said Reitzig.
The youth were appreciative as well, although Manning may not have been what Ramadan Mohammed of Big City Mountaineers expected.
"I never thought that I would meet a football player in person," said Mohammed. "I thought he'd be taller."
Despite Manning's underwhelming height, Head Coach Gary Kubiak notes the importance of his impact off of the field.
"You look at the career, hall of fame career, we all know that, but yet you see a hall of fame person every day," said Kubiak. "He's a tremendous example for all the young players out here to be around each and every day and us as coaches as well and for me at this point in my career to have the opportunity to be around him too. That's special to me too."