32nd Annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic with NY Giants Quarterback Eli Manning Raises $400,000

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Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school headquartered in Yorktown Heights, NY, recently welcomed NY Giants Quarterback Eli Manning for his third year as host of the 32nd Annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic. 240 golfers teed off, raising $400,000 for the organization. The sold-out event was held June 15, 2009 at the Mount Kisco Country Club in Mount Kisco, NY and the Whippoorwill Club in Armonk, NY.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school headquartered in Yorktown Heights, NY, recently welcomed NY Giants Quarterback Eli Manning for his third year as host of the 32nd Annual Guiding Eyes Golf Classic. 240 golfers teed off, raising $400,000 for the organization. The sold-out event was held June 15, 2009 at the Mount Kisco Country Club in Mount Kisco, NY and the Whippoorwill Club in Armonk, NY.

Founded by PGA legend Ken Venturi in 1977, the Golf Classic has raised over $6 million for the organization since its inception. As part of the Classic, Guiding Eyes also presented the Corcoran Cup, the "Masters" of blind golf, on Sunday, June 14. Thirteen top U.S. Blind Golfers Association (USBGA) players from around the country vied for the coveted award. This year, twenty-time tournament participant David Meador of Nashville, TN took home the Corcoran Cup with 41.5 points. In a close second was Jim Baker, also of Nashville. He won the Cribari Trophy with 40.5 points.

George Pilz and John Lucas of King of Prussia, PA were awarded the Joe Spoonster Trophy for most improved from the previous year. The 2009 Ken Venturi Coach of the Year Award, named in honor of the founder of the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic, went to Bob Clingerman of Albany, NY, who coached blind golfer Mike Mercado. Dick Pomo of Green Valley, AZ, won the McFarland Trophy, given to the competitor who exceeds his or her point target by the most points. It was Dick's participation in the Corcoran Cup that brought him to Guiding Eyes as a student in 2007 for his guide dog, Tanya.

Eli Manning was introduced to the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic through family friend and 18-time Corcoran Cup champion Patrick W. Browne, Jr. "This was my third year hosting the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic and it's very special to me. I look forward to it every year," says Manning. "It's important to raise money for the school so that people who need guide dogs can have them." Pat taught Eli and his son, Patrick III, how to golf as boys. The elder Browne reunited with Eli at the 2009 tournament, this time showing the star quarterback how to golf without using his sight.

The 2009 Guiding Eyes Golf Classic gained major support from 22 individual and corporate sponsors including:

Diamond Sponsors: Entergy

Presenting Sponsor: The Journal News & Lohud.com

Platinum Sponsors: The Canine Fence Company and Kinloch

Gold Sponsors: Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Eukanuba, JP Morgan Chase, and Sidley Austin LLP

Silver Sponsors: Paul Holland, Donald J. Matthews, Ken Nilsen, The Stewart Family, Aero Hardware, Avant Business Services, Citibank, Devito Builders, DIRECTV, Dr. Pepper, Emblem Health, Skanska, TBS, and Wilson & Son Jewelers

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is located at 611 Granite Springs Road in Yorktown Heights, NY. They can be reached at 914.245.4024 or by visiting http://www.guidingeyes.org.

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Guiding Eyes for the Blind (http://www.guidingeyes.org), an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school, was founded in 1954 to enrich the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and expanded horizons of opportunity. Since that time, Guiding Eyes has become one of the foremost guide dog schools in the world, graduating more than 7,000 guide dog teams. It provides superbly bred Guiding Eyes dogs, professional training and follow-up support services to students at no cost to them and depends on contributions to fulfill its mission. The comprehensive cost of breeding, raising, preparing, training, and supporting a Guiding Eyes team is $45,000. Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Headquarters and Training Center is located in Yorktown Heights, NY and the Canine Development Center is in Patterson, NY.

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