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Indy honors Peyton during ‘appreciation week’

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INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (March 8th, 2016) — For the first time ever, Peyton Manning is waking-up Tuesday morning as a retired man. Manning will likely be a first ballot hall-of-fame inductee for what he did on the field both as a Colt and Bronco, but many say his impact on Indy exceeds any touchdown he's ever thrown.

The IPL building downtown was lit with Colts blue showing number 18 on Monday night, and Mayor Joe Hogsett declared this week “Peyton Manning Appreciation Week.”

As part of the celebration, Hogsett is asking everyone to share thoughts and memories using #IndyLovesPeyton on social media.

Hogsett talked about Manning’s contributions to the community, including the creation of the Peyback Foundation in 1999, which he says has provided $10 million to at-risk children, and the opening of the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in 2007.

Tourism leaders say they credit Manning and the Colts for much of the growth and success Indy has experienced in recent years.

“He’s one of many reasons and an important reason why the city skyline has changed and why other companies have felt comfortable opening up in Indianapolis,” said Chris Gahl, vice president of Marketing and Communication for Visit Indy.

During his retirement speech, Manning mentioned he’ll miss a number of things about playing football, including eating a post-game meal at his favorite downtown Indy steakhouse, St. Elmo.

Manning will be back in Indy the weekend of March 19 to host the 9th Annual “Celebration of Caring Fundraising Gala” to benefit Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.