New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning made his annual stop to the on Monday to support in its annual fundraiser.
The trip coincided with the Yorktown-based group holding its 35th classic tournament, which followed Sunday's Corcoran Cup, a tournament publicly described as for blind golfers.
Manning, who has gotten a lot of press in the months since winning his second Super Bowl, was on hand to meet Patrick Browne, Jr., a family friend and blind golfer. Browne repeated victory at this year's Corcoran Cup, a blind golfing tournament that is part of Guiding Eyes' golfing series. The charity, which provides dogs for the blind and recently expanded to help autistic people, held its golf events on Sunday and Monday. Golfing was split between Mount Kisco and the in Greenwich.
With press on hand, Manning and Browne putted on a green near the main building. Manning tried his luck while blindfolded, and after sinking a putt an onlooker compared it to his success in beating the New England Patriots.
“It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great tournament,” Manning said to reporters during a press conference, adding that it seems like the tournament is growing each year.
Manning credits Browne - growing up, he knew his son, Patrick Browne III - for getting him involved with Guiding Eyes, and speaks fondly of its mission
“Before I even knew a whole lot of information I just - I started off, I just did it for the first time and then I’ve gotten to learn so much about Guiding Eyes and this company and the work that they do,” he said to reporters, adding that he’s enjoyed working with them over the years.
Taking interest in the group's priority, Manning noted to reporters that the dogs help families live normal lives and help with their jobs.
On the philanthropic front, Manning's appearance coincides with a big milestone for Guiding Eyes. The group announced Monday that it has $3 million pledged from PepsiCo for its planned Canine Development Center, which will require $8 million in fundraising. The result is that only about $1 million is needed going forward.
When asked how his Super Bowl experience this year, Browne said he listened and that he “cheered like heck."
Manning's appearance locally comes at a notable time for the Giants, whether it is good or bad publicity. During the press conference, he was asked about reports of a drunk driving arrest of his teammate, David Diehl. Responding, Manning said that he was “obviously concerned, you know, about my friend," and added that he feels bad for him, refencing what he that he's going through.
The rest of the week will be busy for Manning, as he told reporters that the Giants will hold a mini camp for newer players. It will be followed with a summer break, then the start of camp for the upcoming season, which he looks forward to. Asked what he would like to work on, Manning cited turnovers and third downs.
Frankie Keller, a boy from Yorktown whose father played in Monday's tournament, was lucky enough to get mini helmet signed by Manning. He said that he liked the fact that Manning has won two Super Bowls.