Eli Manning Helps Guide Dogs
The football star helps guide dogs with golf at this winning charityPublished February 10, 2012
Guiding Eyes for the Blind, headquartered in Yorktown Heights, New York, is an internationally recognized nonprofit guide dog school that provides trained dogs and lifetime support services for the blind and visually impaired as well as autistic children free of charge.
Manning became involved in the Guiding Eyes event that features blind golfers because of Patrick Browne, Jr. a longtime friend of the family. Manning played golf with Browne’s son Patrick Browne III while growing up in New Orleans. Even though the elder Browne lost his vision at 32 after a car accident, he plays golf proficiently. He has won the United States Blind Golf Association Corcoran Cup 21 times and is the current Guiding Eyes tournament champion. Eli Manning, who admired Browne all his life, agreed to host the event upon Browne’s recommendation. During last year’s tournament, Manning played with a blindfold and used the same golf coaches the blind players used, just to experience what it was like to golf without being able to see.
Michelle Brier, spokesperson for Guiding Eyes said, “Eli has always been interested in the relationship between the guide dogs and their owners, and how positively the dogs affect their lives. He finds it rewarding to hear stories about the things the owners were able to accomplish because of their guide dogs.” The guide dogs spend 24/7 with their owners, form strong bonds and allow their owners to experience autonomy and opportunities they would not have otherwise.
This year’s golf tournament is being held on June 10th and 11th and will be Manning’s sixth year as a host. On the first day, the top blind golfers in the country will compete in the Corcoran Cup, the masters invitational of the United States Blind Golf Association. On the 11th, the 35th Annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic will be held at Mount Kisco Country Club in NY and Fairview Country Club in CT for recreational golfers. The goal is to raise close to $750,000, one hundred thousand more than the money raised last year. Auctions for vacations and sports memorabilia among other items will be held as well.
Since the Giants victory, Brier said that they are now close to selling out the golf tournament. While the annual tournament and donations help raise necessary funds for the organization that doesn’t receive any money from the government, Guiding Eyes is still in need of volunteers willing to be puppy raisers and socializers.
Those living in the Northeast region and in parts up to Ohio can visit the Guiding Eyes for the Blind website for volunteer opportunities.