Today, Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback and Findlay, Ohio, native Ben Roethlisberger announced the first grant of the 2014-15 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Charles County (Md.) Sheriff's Office located southwest of Baltimore, where the Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens on September 11, 2014.
The Charles County Sheriff's Office will apply the grant funds to the purchase and training of a new dog to replace recently retired K-9 Atos who served with the department for over eight years.
During the 2014-15 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. The Foundation will also distribute several grants to the Pittsburgh area and will consider a grant to a non-NFL market city in the United States for each playoff game in which the Steelers compete. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
This marks the eighth season that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. The mission of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States with a particular emphasis on support for service dogs in Pittsburgh, Pa. Roethlisberger and the Foundation also strive to support Make-A-Wish.
The Foundation distributed $157,600 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2013 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.2 million since 2007.
Sheriff Rex Coffey from the Charles County Sheriff's Office said, "We appreciate the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for their generous grant. The foundation supports a great cause and tremendously helps many agencies all around the United States. Our K9s are important to us and to the citizens we serve. They help track missing people, locate fugitives and provide extra safety for officers who must confront very dangerous situations. We wouldn't be able to do this without this grant funding."
In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Roethlisberger said, "We're very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units. The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible. We're just thrilled to do our small part."
Ben Roethlisberger was raised in Findlay, Ohio, and was a three-sport star at Findlay High School. He went on to set nearly every quarterback record at Miami University (Ohio) prior to foregoing his senior season and becoming the 11th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2004 NFL Draft. Roethlisberger resides near Pittsburgh with his wife Ashley, son Benjamin, daughter Baylee, and dog Hercules.
The Giving Back Fund (GBF) is a national public charity that creates and professionally manages charitable foundations and other philanthropic programs for athletes, entertainers, business entrepreneurs, and corporations. For additional information, please visit www.givingback.org.