Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced the third grant of the 2014-15 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff's Office where the Steelers will play the Jaguars on Sunday, October 5.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will apply the grant funds to the purchase of a new dog they plan to have certified in patrol and bomb detection.
During the 2014-15 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 eighth 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 strive to support Make-A-Wish.
The Foundation distributed $157,600 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2013 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.2 million since 2007.
Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said, "We are very appreciative of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation's approval of our grant request for a police service dog. The timing is excellent, as we are about to retire a PSD who has reached the end of his service life. Thank you for your appreciation of these valued canines, as they are a tremendous asset to law enforcement and first responder organizations nationwide."
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."