Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has announced the first grant awards of the 2017 NFL season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Lorain (OH) Police Department and Medina County (OH) Sheriff's Office, both just outside of Cleveland where the Steelers will play the Browns on September 10.

The Lorain Police Department will use the grant funds to update their K-9 training equipment while the Medina County Sheriff's Office will use their grant to purchase safety equipment for their K-9.

During the 2017 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 if the Steelers advance to the playoffs. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

This marks the 11th 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 $150,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2016 NFL season, including $76,000 in the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.65 million since 2007.

Medina County Sheriff Tom Miller said, "We are fortunate to be one of this year's grant recipients from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. Our K-9 program has become an integral part of the Medina County Sheriff's Office. If not for the generous citizens of Medina County and others such as the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, our K-9 program would not be possible or have the success that it has achieved."

Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera said, "The Lorain Police Department would like to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for their generous donation, which will help ensure our K-9 program continues to serve our community as well as surrounding communities for years to come."

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."

Blue Mountain Canine Services is a proud supporter of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and provides a personalized leather collar etched with an American flag for each new dog awarded by the Foundation. For more information, visit www.bluemountaincanine.com.

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.

For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, visit www.bigben7.com or www.givingback.org.