Today, Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced the twelfth and thirteenth grants of the 2016 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Erlanger (KY) Police Department and the Northern Kentucky University - University Police in the Cincinnati, OH area where the Steelers will play the Bengals on Sunday, December 18.
The Erlanger Police Department will use its grant to purchase a new K-9 to assist with protecting and serving the Kenton County community.
The Northern Kentucky University - University Police will use its grant to purchase and install a temperature monitor in the department's designated K-9 police cruiser.
During the 2016 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is 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.
Erlanger Officer Edward Bailey stated, "The Erlanger (KY) Police Department is fortunate to be receiving a $10,000 check from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. Our mission is to help and assist any agency at any time upon any requests. The funds will go toward the purchase of a brand new K-9 unit, which includes the dog and training for a handler."
Interim Police Chief, Lt. John Gaffin stated, "The Northern Kentucky University Police Department is honored to receive this grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. The funding will allow us to ensure the safety of our K-9 officer, Arritt, who works to keep our campus and region safe. We thank and commend the Foundation for its dedication to public safety service K-9 units."
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 touchdown this season to his foundation. Supporters can increase the impact by pledging to donate any amount per touchdown.