April 7, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Advisory Board Chairman James A. Haslam II of The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, announced that Advisory Board Honorary Co-Chair Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley have made a major gift commitment of $500,000 to the foundation.
"On behalf of the entire board, we extend our deepest appreciation for the Mannings' investment in the foundation," Haslam said. "Almost every family in America is touched in some way by Alzheimer's disease, and it is our hope to help find a cure as quickly as possible.
Haslam continued, "As we all know, Pat Summitt has been a success at everything she has ever taken on and we truly believe the Mannings' gift and our efforts with Pat's team will make a huge difference on the national platform for Alzheimer's. Together We Will Win!"
"I have such great respect and admiration for Coach Summitt as a mentor, coach and friend from my days as a Tennessee Volunteer and throughout my pro career," Manning said. "I hope my role as Honorary Co-Chair can bring attention to the important mission of defeating Alzheimer's through research for a cure, support services for patients and caregivers, and building education and awareness."
Manning continued, "Both Ashley and I believe it's imperative we make our own personal contribution to advance this critical work in addition to serving in a volunteer capacity with the foundation. We are hopeful others will follow Pat's lead and come to the aid of the more than five and a half million Americans impacted by this disease."
Acknowledging the largest major gift announcement to date for the foundation, Pat and Tyler Summitt expressed their sincere thanks and appreciation.
"My mother and I are humbled and very grateful for this most generous gift from Peyton and Ashley Manning to our Foundation and for their willingness to lend their names and leadership to our fight," Tyler said.
Summitt stepped down as the Tennessee women's basketball coach last April after announcing in 2011 she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She went 1,098-208 and won eight national titles in 38 seasons. Summitt remains on Tennessee's staff as head coach emeritus.
The Mannings' gift is the largest gift announcement made to the Pat Summitt Foundation since its founding in November 2011.
All funds received by the Pat Summitt Foundation go toward helping fund the Foundation's grant-making focus on advancing research for a cure, providing support services for patients and caregivers, and building education and public awareness.