LAS VEGAS and BLOOMFIELD, Conn.—Eschenbach Optik of America, Inc., a leading manufacturer of vision-enhancing products that empower visually impaired clients, has announced a new corporate partnership with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog organization and recognized expert. Eschenbach is sponsoring the breeding, training and placement of a Fidelco guide dog.

Kenneth Bradley, president and CEO, made the announcement of the new partnership, noting that 2018 is the 105th anniversary of Eschenbach, at Vision Expo West last month, along with three special guests: : Eliot Russman, president and CEO of Fidelco, Cathy Beaudoin, a Fidelco Guide Dog user, and Winnie, Cathy’s German Shepherd guide dog.

Eschenbach’s commitment to a Fidelco guide dog is substantial. According to Russman, guide dogs require 15,000 hours of training, which costs $45,000. In fact, guide dogs rack up more training hours than American children spend in school from kindergarten through college.

(L to R) Jillian Camarata, Eliot Russman, Ken Bradley,
Cathy Beaudoin, Tim Gels, Taron Sutcliffe, Michele Buzzi,
Joe Buttazzoni, and Winnie the guide dog celebrate
Eschenbach’s new partnership with Fidelco Guide Dogs.
But the commitment is more than just financial. Fidelco places guide dogs with visually impaired customers at no cost to them—and the effect of that is priceless. Beaudoin spoke to the importance of Winnie, who is her third Fidelco guide dog, in her life. Emotionally, Beaudoin said, “The quality of my life with the dog is just unbelievably so much better than when I was walking around with a white cane. The cane made people cross the street to avoid me. The dog makes people cross the street to say hello to me, and you can’t put a price on that.”

Bradley said, “[Eschenbach’s] goal is to help people with visual challenges accomplish their goals,” and there’s no question that a Fidelco guide dog will do just that. The Eschenbach Partner Project will be documented online, so customers, end-users, and others will be able to follow the Eschenbach puppy/future guide dog through its entire journey, from training to placement. ECPs and patients can follow the Eschenbach Partner Project webpage online at

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to ensuring men and women who are blind enjoy increased independence to improve their lives and the world around them. They climb Mt. Everest, win gold medals as world class athletes, serve America in the military and sacrifice on the battlefield. They educate, create documentary films, work in business and government, raise families and advocate for those who are visually impaired.

Over 1,500 guide dogs have been placed across North America in 41 states and six Canadian provinces. All Fidelco Guide Dogs are gifted to clients at no cost thanks to the generous support from individual donors and organizations.
Eschenbach offers eyecare and vision rehabilitation professionals numerous diagnostic assortment options as well as training and consultative support, all of which ensure success for their users who need magnification solutions.