Today, Ben announced the final grants of the 2013-14 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing nine grants totaling $77,000 to police departments in the Pittsburgh, PA area where the Steelers play their home games.

β€œI would like to extend my extreme gratitude to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for its generosity and support. The foundation’s assistance will provide an integral role in the development of our newly started canine program. The North Fayette Township Police Department canine program relies greatly on contributions like this in order to maintain the high standards required to make the program successful. We are confident that our canine program will serve our community well.” — Mark O’Donnell, Chief of Police, North Fayette Township.

BRF_logoThe K-9 departments receiving funding from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation this year are City of Washington Police, Edinboro Borough Police, Eureka Fire Rescue EMS, Forest Hills Police, Jefferson County Drug Task Force, Martins Ferry Police, New Sewickley Township Police, North Fayette Township Police and the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. 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 such as vet bills and K-9 specific patrol vehicles.

“It will be a big help for our department. It’s not cheap to start a canine program.” — Ron Leindecker, Chief of Police, New Sewickley.

This announcement completes the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation’s seventh grant cycle, during which it distributed $157,600 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 2013-14 season. Ben’s foundation invited police and fire departments in the eight cities to submit proposals detailing their needs.

“On behalf of the Jefferson County Drug Task Force, I would like to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for selecting our department as a grant recipient. We are very grateful and honored to be chosen as one of the departments able to benefit from such a great foundation. The support given by the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is critical to maintaining our K-9 to proudly serve the citizens of Jefferson County at no cost to the taxpayers.” — Chris Vinci, Drug Task Force K-9 Officer, Jefferson County.

Earlier this week, Ben announced a grant to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to help fill the void left by beloved K-9 Rocco’s recent passing from injuries sustained in the line of duty.

Since 2007, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has made 135 grants totaling more than $1.2 million to 129 police and fire departments and five community youth organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Make A Wish Foundation. These 129 canine grants have funded the purchase of more than 67 dogs, the training of more than 29 dogs and 50 handlers, safety equipment, such as vests, for more than of 54 dogs and training equipment for more than 33 dogs as well as food, vet services and housing for many more.

*Thank you once again to fan Rebecca Miller for designing the logo for Ben’s foundation!