Eli Manning tees off at Guiding Eyes Golf Classic

New York Giants quarterback and eight-time Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic host Eli Manning with Guiding Eyes Jansen at the 37th annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic. –John Vecchiolla

New York Giants quarterback and eight-time Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic host Eli Manning with Guiding Eyes Jansen at the 37th annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic. –John Vecchiolla

Guiding Eyes, the nonprofit known for its outstanding guide and service dogs, recently welcomed the return of two-time Super Bowl winning New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning as host of their 37th annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic.

More than 250 golfers teed off, raising significant funds for the organization. The sold-out event was held on June 8 and June 9 at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich and the Mount Kisco Country Club in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Founded in 1977 by PGA legend Ken Venturi, the Golf Classic has raised more than $8 million for the organization since its inception. As part of the Classic, Guiding Eyes also presented the Corcoran Cup, the “Masters” of blind golf. As 12 top U.S. Blind Golfers Association players from around the country vied for the coveted trophy, Ron Derry was named Corcoran Cup champion. Tony Schiros took home the Cribari Trophy for his second place finish.

Now in his eighth consecutive year as host, Mr. Manning was first introduced to Guiding Eyes’ Golf Classic through family friend and 24-time Corcoran Cup champion Patrick Browne, Jr. Pat taught Eli and his son, Patrick III, how to golf as boys. At this year’s outing, top blind golfer and Guiding Eyes graduate Dick Pomo and wife Sharon showed the star quarterback how to golf blind.

“I’ve learned so much about Guiding Eyes and have seen so much growth in the organization since first hosting the annual Golf Classic eight years ago,” said Mr. Manning. “Getting to be here each year and meeting firsthand the people whose lives are changed through Guiding Eyes and its dogs is incredibly rewarding. I’m proud to be involved through the Golf Classic and am looking forward to next year’s event.”

Guiding Eyes provides guide dogs, professional training, and follow-up support services to men and women who are blind and visually impaired at no cost, depending solely on contributions to fulfill its mission. Additionally, Guiding Eyes’ Heeling Autism Program places specially trained service dogs with children on the autism spectrum.

“It’s amazing how much more people can accomplish because of these dogs. I feel honored to be part of this,” said Mr. Manning.

The 37th annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic gained major support from several individual and corporate sponsors. Entergy, Gatorade were diamond sponsors, Canine Company, John Donnelly and South Eastern Farms / Safe Harbor Risk Management were platinum sponsors, A. DeVito & Son, Bill Bradley, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Hill’s / Colgate and Skanska were gold sponsors and the silver sponsors were Aero Hardware, AFCO AvPORTS Management LLC, CBS Sports Sales, Citibank, Cum Laude Group, Empire Merchants, Friends from Vero Beach, Harriet and Bob Druskin, Ken Nilsen, Marilyn & Stanley Cohen Foundation, Paul Holland, Pepper Hamilton LLP and Freeh Group International Solutions, Rolex, The Stewart Family Foundation, Turner Broadcasting and Wilson & Son Jewelers.

For more information, visit Guidingeyes.org.

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