Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback and Findlay, OH, native, Ben Roethlisberger, announced the fifth and sixth grants of the 2015-16 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Renton and Bellevue Police Departments, just south and east, respectively, of Seattle where the Steelers will play the Seahawks on Sunday, November 29.
The Renton Police Department is planning to add a narcotics trained K-9 to their existing team of three tracking K-9s with their Patrol Division. The Bellevue Police Department requested the grant to outfit their newest K-9, Ozzy, with a ballistic vest. K-9 Ozzy just completed his training in May.
During the 2015-16 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 ninth 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 support Make-A-Wish.
The Foundation distributed more than $130,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2014-15 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.3 million since 2007.
Renton Chief of Police Kevin Milosevich said, "This donation allows us to start a new canine program that will greatly improve our ability to investigate narcotic crimes in Renton. We are pleased to be selected for this grant, and appreciate the ongoing support the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation provides to police departments for their K-9 programs."
Bellevue Chief of Police Steve Mylett said, "We are very appreciative of this generous grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which will help provide a ballistic vest for K-9 Ozzy. Just as our officers wear ballistic vests when they are on patrol, this vest will help protect Ozzy while he is serving the people of Bellevue."
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.