When New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning shared the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award Saturday, it was a victory celebrated by Hackensack Meridian Health.
Manning, who has been nominated seven times previously, shared the award for his work with multiple charities, one of which is the Tackle Kids Cancer program at Hackensack University Medical Center.
The win means Hackensack’s program, which launched in 2015, will receive roughly $500,000 in funding in addition to a previous matching donation challenge by Manning.
“We are ecstatic that Eli achieved this incredible honor,” said Robert Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “He is a valued team member both on and off the field, and we are particularly grateful for his devotion to our patients and the Tackle Kids Cancer initiative.”
Every year, NFL teams nominate one player who had a significant positive influence on his community. Manning shared this year’s award with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.
“Eli shares our vision in advancing the Tackle Kids Cancer initiative in many ways,” said Jon Fitzgerald, president of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, in a statement. “In 2016, he issued a matching donation challenge that ignited the community and exceeded the goal. We are proud to partner with Eli on this essential program.”
To date, the program has raised more than $1 million a year, totaling $4 million raised since its inception, according to Hackensack.