Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback and Findlay, OH native, Ben Roethlisberger, announced the final grants of the 2012-13 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing eight grants totaling $66,382.17 to police departments in the Pittsburgh, PA area where the Steelers play their home games.
The K-9 Departments receiving funding from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation this year are Borough of Kittanning, Center Township, City of Aliquippa, City of Clairton, Latrobe, Mt. Pleasant Borough, New Castle, and Robinson Township Police Departments. Funds will be used to start new K-9 units as well as maintain existing ones who will purchase additional K-9s, K-9 safety vests, training equipment, food and other necessary expenses of the K-9 units.
This announcement completes the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation’s sixth grant cycle, during which it distributed more than $135,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country. In addition to the Pittsburgh grants announced, the Foundation distributed grants to police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers in the 2012-13 season. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments in the eight cities to submit proposals detailing their needs.
Since 2007, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has made 107 grants totaling more than $950,000 to 102 police and fire departments and five community youth organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Make A Wish Foundation. These 102 canine grants have funded the purchase of more than 66 dogs, the training of more than 28 dogs and 50 handlers, safety equipment for more than of 52 dogs and training equipment for more than 31 dogs as well as food, vet services and housing for countless more.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is grateful for its generous supporters who have enabled it to expand its K-9 grant program, including Pro Camps and Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office as well as caring individual donors from around the country.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has generously offered to match half of the grants awarded to departments in their county. This includes Robinson Township and City of Clairton Police Departments.
Allegheny County District Attorney, Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said, “(He) appreciates the work of Ben Roethlisberger and his foundation in helping to ensure that law enforcement in Allegheny County have the best tools, equipment and training available. I am proud of our continuing partnership with The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.”
Robinson Township Police Chief Dale Vietmeier added, “I would like to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for the support in helping us establish our K-9 unit. The donation from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has allowed us to purchase our first ever K-9 that will not only benefit the Robinson Township Police Department, but the entire community that we serve.”
City of Aliquippa Chief of Police Andre Davis offered, “We are especially proud and appreciative to Ben Roethlisberger for all the work and support that he provides through his foundation to not only the City of Aliquippa but Western Pennsylvania in general. His giving heart and spirit are a true testament to his character and love for the area that he works and lives in. He truly knows the meaning of giving back.”
New Castle City Police Department Chief Robert Salem shared, “From apprehending suspects, to locating dangerous drugs, the K-9 unit plays an integral role in the public safety services we provide. In addition, K-9 dogs and their handlers conduct presentations for children and community organizations that provide an engaging medium to learn about law enforcement and safety. I commend the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for their continued assistance in supporting local law enforcement in our vital mission.”
Finally, Kittanning Borough Councilwoman, Kim Fox said “The grant will allow the police department to purchase a dual purpose K-9 police dog. On behalf of Kittanning Police Department and Kittanning Borough Council we would like to thank Ben Roethlisberger and everyone at the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for the generous donation to our new K-9 unit and for their continued support of law enforcement.”
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.”
For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Stephanie Sandler or visit www.bigben7.com or givingbackfund.wpengine.com.
About Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is in his eighth season as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and already has secured his place in the record books. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, he is aptly referred to as Big Ben, and has become known for big performances and a humble approach. Roethlisberger is one of only 10 starting quarterbacks to win two or more Super Bowls. In 2009, he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa with a thrilling touchdown pass in the final seconds. In 2006, Roethlisberger became the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit. Roethlisberger was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007, and already holds most of the passing records for the Steelers. He is the only quarterback to lead his team to the conference championship game in each of his first two seasons. He was the unanimous Rookie of the Year in 2004, breaking Dan Marino’s rookie records for completion percentage and passer rating, and was the first quarterback in NFL history to compile a 13-0 regular season record as a rookie.
Roethlisberger was raised in Findlay, OH and was a three-sport star at Findlay High School. He went on to set nearly every quarterback record at Miami University (Ohio) prior to foregoing his senior season and becoming the 11th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2004 NFL Draft. Roethlisberger resides near Pittsburgh with his wife Ashley and his two dogs, Zeus and Hercules.
About The Giving Back Fund
The Giving Back Fund (GBF) is a national public charity that creates and professionally manages charitable foundations and other philanthropic programs for athletes, entertainers, business entrepreneurs, and corporations. Since our founding in 1997, GBF has created an important niche in expanding and diversifying philanthropy, particularly among young people, women and people of color. Our unique structure allows donors to direct more of their charitable dollars to causes they care about and less to administrative overhead. To date, The Giving Back Fund has provided philanthropic consulting, management and programming to more than 200 athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and other high net worth individuals. GBF has overseen the distribution of more than $30,000,000 in charitable grants within the United States and other countries, and has developed dozens of unique scholarship, mentoring, medical, arts, and other philanthropic programs. For additional information, please visit givingbackfund.wpengine.com.