Manning to speak at Best of Blount Ceremony

Former NFL star and University of Tennessee legend, Peyton Manning, is speaking at “the Best of Blount Award Ceremony,” which will be hosted at the Clayton Center for the Arts November 1, 2018.

This ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Not only for Maryville College, but also for the members of the community. Manning will be participating in a question-and-answer session after awards are handed out. Questions are submitted ahead of time by patrons who bought tickets.

The Best of Blount ceremony, hosted by Blount Partnership, will focus on the accomplishments of Blount County as a community, and to recognize the best businesses. The purpose of the ceremony is to bring the community together and to look back on the accomplishments of the past year.

Nominees for the awards are not only chamber of commerce members, but are community wide. Nominations can be submitted by anyone in the Blount County community. Awards like the “small business award” and the “community impact award” are especially unique because it is an all-inclusive award ceremony for Blount County.

This year Blount Partnership decided to choose someone a little closer to home to participate in this event . Building off of last year, they wanted to get more of the community involved.

They then made the decision to invite Peyton Manning, a celebrated football player who played for the Tennessee Volunteers from 1994-1997, to the ceremony. After playing for the Volunteers, Manning furthered his career as quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, playing a total of 18 seasons in the NFL.

As a lifelong Tennessee Volunteers fan, Jessica Belitz, Director of Partnership Programs and Events at Blount Partnership, said Peyton Manning is “very beloved” here in East Tennessee. Inviting him to speak at the ceremony would bring the community together and bring in more awareness.

“We have been there with him through his journey,” stated Belitz. Jeff Muir, Director of Communications at Blount Partnerships, said, “We do not only want to know his accomplishments during his football career. We also want to get to know the guy behind the helmet.”

With the way the ceremony is structured all patrons who submit questions will have their questions answered. Patrons then get the opportunity to not only learn about Manning’s football career, but also to get to have an experience with him outside on a personal level.

Besides Blount Partnership this is a big deal for the Clayton Center and all of the workers. Caroline Stuart, Event Coordinator at the Clayton Center, says when she found out Peyton Manning was invited she was “so excited”.

“Having a new crowd of community members and others get to experience what the Clayton Center has to offer is an amazing thing,” said Stuart

Tickets can be purchased at the Clayton Center Box Office or at

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