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by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: guiding eyes for the blind, annual golf classic, eli manning charity, westchester charity parties,

Guiding Eyes for the Blind hosted spring tee-off for its annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at Mulino's of Westchester in White Plains.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind recently welcomed the return of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at the Spring Tee-Off for its 36th annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic. The sponsor recognition party was held at Mulino’s of Westchester in White Plains.

Eli Manning and Kate at Guiding Eyes for the Blind
NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning and puppy Prince with Guiding Eyes graduate Kate Katulak and her guide dog Hosta at the Spring Tee-Off for the 36th annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic. John Vecchiolla

Joined by Guiding Eyes puppies, staff, and supporters, Eli Manning was in high spirits as he mingled with the crowd and expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming classic. Returning for his seventh year as host, Eli was introduced to Guiding Eyes’ Golf Classic through family friend and Corcoran Cup champion Patrick W. Browne Jr.

“Each year that I host the Golf Classic I’m reminded of how many people Guiding Eyes is helping to live their lives to the fullest,” Manning said. “For people without sight, teaming up with a Guiding Eyes dog can change their lives. Not only do these dogs provide independence to blind and visually impaired people, they also assist children with autism. I’ve been told Heeling Autism program has just placed its forty-sixth dog within a family. I feel privileged and excited to play a part in such a dynamic organization.”

The Tee-Off featured Guiding Eyes graduate Kate Katulak, a teacher for blind and visually impaired children at the Rogers International School. When a virus in high school caused Kate’s optic nerves to atrophy, she quickly became depressed – losing her friends and courage to leave the house. Kate’s life turned around, however, after visiting Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

“With Guiding Eyes Hosta I moved to New York City and graduated with a master’s degree in education from Columbia University,” Katulak says. “I went from someone who was literally afraid to leave the house to an independent woman who took the subway, rode buses, and walked miles – just me and my guide dog.”

For the sixth consecutive year, Mulino’s of Westchester generously donated its facility and hospitality for the Tee-Off. With a spotless reputation for its outstanding food, warm atmosphere, and exceptional service, Mulino’s has been continually voted among the best Italian restaurants in Westchester County.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind will hold its Golf Classic on June 10 at Mount Kisco Country Club and Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, CT – two of the region’s most preferred and challenging courses. The field will include golfers hosted by Diamond Sponsors PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Entergy Nuclear Northeast. Guiding Eyes hopes the event will raise more than $600,000 for its programs and services.

Founded by PGA legend Ken Venturi in 1977, the Golf Classic has raised more than $8 million for the nonprofit organization, which provides guide dogs – at no charge – to blind and visually impaired men and women around the world. Last year, 288 golfers teed off, raising more than $650,000 for the organization.

As part of the classic, Guiding Eyes will also present the Corcoran Cup, the “Masters” of blind golf, on Sunday, June 9, in Mount Kisco. Fourteen top U.S. Blind Golfers Association players will compete for the coveted award, including recurring champion Patrick W. Browne Jr. Each blind golfer plays with a coach who aids in club selection, alignment, setup, and distances. On Monday, blind golfers will challenge their sighted counterparts to experience golf as a visually impaired person by inviting them to take a shot at hitting the ball blindfolded.

Guiding Eyes’ online auction, which goes live on May 22, includes everything from signed sports memorabilia to exotic vacations and exclusive experiences. All items are currently viewable at biddingforgood.com/guidingeyes.

In addition, Guiding Eyes will raffle a new 2013 BMW 128i Coupe and pair of Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold at $100 each. Tickets can be purchased online at guidingeyes.org/raffle or by calling 914-761-7111. The BMW is sponsored in part by BMW of Mount Kisco. Watches provided by Rolex.

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is located at 611 Granite Springs Road in Yorktown Heights, NY. For more information, contact 914-245-4024 or visit guidingeyes.org. For the latest news, please visit Guiding Eyes on Facebook facebook.com/guidingeyes and on Twitter twitter.com/guidingeyes.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit guide dog school founded in 1954. Since its inception, Guiding Eyes has grown to be one of the foremost guide dog schools in the world, known for its cutting-edge training programs, commitment to excellence, and dedication to its elite and superbly trained guide dogs.

In 2008, the school launched Heeling Autism, a service dog program designed to provide safety and companionship for children on the autism spectrum. Guiding Eyes provides all of its services at no cost, and is dependent upon contributions to fulfill its mission. The organization’s headquarters and rraining center are located in Yorktown Heights, NY and its Canine Development Center is in Patterson, NY.

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