Today, Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback and Findlay, OH, native Ben Roethlisberger announced the first grant of the 2016 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Arlington County (VA) Police Department just west of Landover, MD, where the Steelers will play the Washington Redskins on September 12, 2016.
The Arlington County Police Department will use the grant funds to purchase ballistic vests for their existing seven K-9s.
During the 2016 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. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
This marks the 10th 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 Ben Roethlisberger Foundation distributed more than $170,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2015 NFL season, including $93,250 in the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.5 million since 2007.
Arlington County Police Chief M. Jay Farr said, "Our K-9s are integral members of the Arlington County Police Department both in the field and from a community outreach perspective. We are grateful to receive this grant so we can provide our K-9s with ballistic vests as an added layer of protection to keep them safe."
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 joining Ben's crowdfunding campaign on https://pledgeit.org/big-ben. Big Ben is pledging $1,000 per throwing touchdown this season to his foundation. Supporters can increase the impact by pledging to donate any amount per touchdown.