Eli Manning officially hung up his cleats four years ago. While he may no longer be leading the Giants to victory, his work off the field continues to be just as important.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP teamed back up with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an organization that provides seeing eye dogs to people with vision loss, and presented CEO Thomas Panek with a guide dog named Ten in their first-ever Guide Dog Draft.
"The number 10 is about consistency and durability. It's a number I don't take lightly," Manning said during his presentation. "Of course Ten is wildly handsome, ridiculously smart, and already a champion out there. But I'm excited to say this one is just getting started… Ten, not only did you make the cut today, you're the number one draft pick."
Manning has been a long-time supporter of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He first got involved with the organization nearly 20 years ago, and since then, the former quarterback has helped raise over $300,000 for the cause.
Over the past year, Guiding Eyes for the Blind has trained 150 dogs that have been paired with new owners. The organization is looking to continue that pace into 2024, beginning with Ten, a yellow Labrador guide dog in-training.
"[It's amazing] just to think about the number of people we've helped match up with a guide dog and change their life and give them the independence to commute, to get to work," said Manning, a member of Guiding Eyes' board of directors since 2020. "To be more involved in their family, to travel the world, to see different things, just to live their life a little bit more fuller and make it a little bit easier, has been awesome."