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Guiding Eyes for the Blind's 33rd Annual Golf Classic Scheduled


New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will host the Guiding Eyes for the Blind's 33rd Annual Golf Classic June 13 and 14 at Whippoorwill Club in Armonk, N.Y. and Mount Kisco Country Club in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Guiding Eyes is an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school headquartered in Yorktown Heights. Last year 260 golfers teed off, raising more than $400,000 for the organization.

"This is my fourth year hosting Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Golf Classic and it's very special to me," Manning said. "It's important to raise money for the school so that people who need guide dogs can have them."

Founded by Ken Venturi in 1977, the Guiding Eyes' Golf Classic has raised over $7 million since its inception and is the organization's largest annual fundraiser. As part of the Classic, Guiding Eyes will present the Corcoran Cup, the "Masters" of blind golf, on June 13. Named for the late Fred J. Corcoran, the award reflects Corcoran's dedication to the sport.

Fourteen top U.S. Blind Golfers Association (USBGA) players from around the country will compete for the Corcoran Cup. 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.

The 2009 Corcoran Cup champion David Meador of Nashville, Tenn., and Cribari Trophy recipient Jim Baker, also of Nashville, will return to compete in 2010. Also on the roaster are George Pilz (of King of Prussia, Pa.), who received the Joe Spoonster Trophy in 2009 for most improved player, and Dick Pomo (of Green Valley, Ariz.), winner of the McFarland Trophy.

Additional top-ranked blind golfers invited to participate are: Ron Murner (of Wellington, OH), Ron Derry (of Baltimore, Ohio), Mike Mercado (of Albany, N.Y.), Sheila Drummond (of Lehighton, Pa.), William McMahon (of Framingham, Mass.), Ted Fass (of Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Patrick Browne, Jr. (of New Orleans, La.), John Casolo (of Waterbury, Conn.), and Geoff Bull (of Kalamazoo, Mich.).

Fred Corcoran daughter Judy will join the golfers on Sunday to share stories of her father's remarkable achievements from her book, "Fred Corcoran: The Man Who Sold the World on Golf." A former PGA tournament manager, Fred Corcoran is credited with taking the sport from a minor curiosity to a major business.

Manning was introduced to the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic through family friend and 18-time Corcoran Cup champion Patrick W. Browne, Jr. "This is my fourth year hosting Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Golf Classic and it's very special to me," he said. "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.

Individual play is $700 and a foursome is $2,500. The fees include breakfast, lunch and a banquet dinner with silent auction. Spectators are welcome to attend; registration is required for gallery seating. For additional details about sponsorship opportunities or general information, contact Michelle Brier, Events and Marketing Manager, at 914/243-2208 or mbrier@guidingeyes.org. The organization can be reached at 914/245-4024.

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally-accredited nonprofit guide-dog school 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 its origination, Guiding Eyes has become one of the foremost guide-dog schools in the world, graduating more than 7,000 guide dog teams. It provides professional training and follow-up support services to students at no cost 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, N.Y. and the Canine Development Center is in Patterson, N.Y. For more information, visit www.guidingeyes.org.