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Cecil Williams Returns to Guiding Eyes for the Blind for New Guide Dog

Guiding Eyes for the Blind graduate Cecil Williams with Guiding Eyes Orlando (left) and Godiva at the organization’s January graduation ceremony in Yorktown Heights
Guiding Eyes for the Blind graduate Cecil Williams with Guiding Eyes Orlando (left) and Godiva at the organization’s January graduation ceremony in Yorktown Heights

On Saturday, January 25, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, known around the globe as one of the foremost guide dog schools, celebrated the graduation of Cecil Williams and Guiding Eyes Godiva, a two-year old yellow Lab and successor guide for Orlando, who received widespread praise across the globe last month for his dedication to his blind handler when Williams lost consciousness and fell onto a Manhattan subway track. The team miraculously escaped the subway incident without serious injury and now welcomes the addition of Guiding Eyes Godiva.

“I'm recovering well and I've enjoyed getting to know my new guide dog, Godiva,” said Williams. “I'm grateful to Guiding Eyes for providing me with her and with Orlando; the spirit of good will is very much alive here, and all throughout New York. I'm happy to move forward with both of these special dogs in my life.”

At 11 years old, Guiding Eyes Orlando is ready to retire from service and will now be kept as a pet for Williams following an overwhelming public response to cover the costs of the dog’s care.

“We are incredibly proud of Cecil and Orlando,” said Michelle Brier, Guiding Eyes’ Director of Marketing and Communications. “Orlando has safely guided Cecil around New York City for the last eight years – a truly remarkable feat. Now it’s time for him to put his paws up and relax while Godiva takes over.”

For someone without sight, a Guiding Eyes dog is a priceless, life-changing gift providing independence, companionship, and mobility. Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs, professional training, and follow-up support services to blind and visually impaired individuals around the world at no cost to them, depending solely on contributions to fulfill its mission. For more information or to donate online, visit: http://www.guidingeyes.org/donate-now/

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is located at 611 Granite Springs Road in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. They can be reached at 914.245.4024 or by visiting www.guidingeyes.org. For the latest news, please visit Guiding Eyes on Facebook www.facebook.com/guidingeyes and on Twitter www.twitter.com/guidingeyes.

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind: 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 Training Center is located in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and its Canine Development Center is in Patterson, N.Y. For more info, visit www.guidingeyes.org, like Guiding Eyes on Facebook (www.facebook.com/guidingeyes) or follow @guidingeyes on Twitter.

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