Today, Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced the final grants of the 2014-2015 NFL season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing six grants totaling $55,000 to police departments in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area where the Steelers play their home games.
The K-9 departments receiving funding from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation this year include the Township of Springdale, New Castle, Penn Hills, Monaca Borough, Steubenville, and North Strabane Township. These departments will be utilizing their respective grants in a variety of canine-focused initiatives including starting brand-new K-9 units, purchasing K-9 vehicle upgrades, and replacing veteran service dogs that are nearing their much deserved retirement.
This announcement completes the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation's eighth grant cycle, during which it distributed more than $132,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country. In addition to the Pittsburgh grants announced, the Foundation distributed grants to police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers in the 2014-2015 season and one grant outside of the NFL markets in honor of the Steelers' playoff appearance.
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 has distributed in excess of $1.2 million since 2007.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is grateful for its generous supporters who have enabled it to expand its K-9 grant program, including Pro Camps and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office as well as caring individual donors from around the country.
Upon receiving their grant, North Strabane Township Police Chief Brian D. Hughes stated, "On behalf of the citizens of North Strabane Township and its police department, I wish to express my sincere thanks for the generosity of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. This award will assist us in implementing a K-9 program in our township. This program will be a major step in enhancing the police department's crime fighting capabilities and increasing the quality of life for our citizens."
New Castle City Police Chief Robert A. Salem said, "The New Castle City Police Department extends their heartfelt gratitude to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for the grant toward the purchase of a K-9 vehicle. The challenges to protect and serve our community have greatly increased. The funds provided to the New Castle City Police Department by the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will assist us in facing these challenges."
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."
Fans of The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies' website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com), using a special purchase code (77-7777). Sarris will donate 25% of the purchase price to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.