Peyton Manning Foundation donates to Empower Me

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Empower Me leaders said the group received a congratulatory letter Thursday that indicated Empower Me Center has been awarded a 2017 PeyBack Foundation Grant. The PeyBack Foundation approved a grant in the amount of $15,000 to Empower Me Center for their Recreational Program and Day Camp.

Peyton and Ashley Manning established the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk.

The Foundation has become a consistent and viable contributor in Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, and beyond, providing more than $12 million in grants and programs since its inception.

The Foundation strives to make opportunities available to children who might not otherwise have the chance to participate and looks strongly upon abused and neglected children, Boys & Girls clubs, after-school programs, summer camps and foster children.

Empower Me Center will use the funds to purchase recreational equipment for their Summer Day Camp and their other recreational leagues that will be implemented once their facilities have been built.

“We are so grateful to the Manning Family for establishing this foundation that is making a difference in children’s lives. We are blessed to be a recipient of this grant to purchase specialized adaptive recreational equipment that will meet the needs of a variety of different types of disabilities” executive director Michelle Hill said. “People don’t realize how you must adapt various recreational games for children who are blind or deaf, or who have physical disabilities and only have use of one limb, or require adaptive devices just to move from one spot to the next. This equipment will help empower these children to grow, increase their self-esteem and overall development. It will enable them the same opportunities many other individuals take for granted.”

Progress on the Empower Me Center is continuing to be made. The City of Lebanon’s Tuesday night agenda includes two issues relative to the Empower Me Center. The council will take its second look at rezoning a portion of the South Hartmann Drive for the group’s future center site and a donation to Empower Me Center from the city for more than $40,000.

“We are excited about the support from the Lebanon City Council as we move forward with our project. We realize it is a huge undertaken to make something this big happen. But when you have thousands of special needs individuals in your community that do not have access to recreational programs or a place designed to meet their individual needs, something has to be done,” Hill said. “Our community always seems to be up for a challenge, so we are hopeful everyone will support our efforts to change lives and be a part of something this grand.”

For more information, or to get involved with the Empower Me Center, visit their website at www.empowermecenter.com.

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