Today, Ben announced the final grants of the 2018-19 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing eight grants totaling $70,000 to police K-9 programs in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
“The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund was able to help us start our first K-9 program back around 2010. Since then, the Foundation has provided additional funding to support the program. Our K-9 ‘Ingo’ has been responsible for over $1.1 million in drug seizures over the past 8 to 9 years. Ingo is now reaching an age where he will retire by the end of March this year. The timing of this funding could not be any better due to Ingo’s retirement, who will live his retired life with his handler Sgt. Cindric. Thanks to The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, the Center Township Police Department will continue to have the tools we need in taking drugs off the streets of America.” — Chief Barry Kramer, Center Township Police Department.
The K-9 departments receiving funding from Ben’s foundation this year include the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office (above), Beaver County Sheriff’s Office, Center Township Police Department, Conewango Township Police Department, Connellsville Police Department, East Liverpool Police Department, City of McKeesport Police Department and Salineville Police Department. These departments will be utilizing their respective grants in a variety of canine-focused initiatives including the establishment of new K-9 units, replacement of retiring dogs, acquisition and updating of K-9 vehicles, purchasing of safety and training equipment, and training and certification of new and existing K-9s.
“Thanks to this grant, the Connellsville Police Department will be able to develop its first K-9 unit in approximately 40 years. Our K-9 will be available to the City of Connellsville and surrounding jurisdictions, working alongside other agencies in Fayette County, Pennsylvania to increase officer safety, combat the drug epidemic, and help forge relationships between police and the communities we serve. The Connellsville Police Department would like to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for its incredible support for our organization and others like us throughout the nation. This funding allows us to significantly enhance our law enforcement and public safety services in a timely manner.” — Patrolman James T. Garlick, City of Connellsville Police.
This announcement completes the foundation’s 12th grant cycle, during which it distributed 17 grants totaling more than $145,000 to K-9 units around the country. In addition to the Pittsburgh grants announced, the Foundation distributed grants to K-9 units of police departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. Last summer, Ben invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
“At a time when the responsibilities associated with protecting and serving our citizens is becoming greater, and our budgets are becoming smaller, the grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office is truly a Godsend.” — Sheriff Tony Guy, Beaver County Sheriff’s Office.
The mission of Ben’s foundation is to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States, with a particular emphasis for service dogs in Pittsburgh, PA. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $2.1 million since 2007, $1.7 million of which has specifically benefited K-9 programs. In addition, Ben and his foundation have hosted a number of events to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, his high school alma mater and other organizations close to his heart.
“I cannot say enough on behalf of the residents of Warren County, the appreciation we feel being accepted and awarded this extraordinary gift through this wonderful program. In June of 2018, our Warren County K-9 Officer died in a tragic training accident. As a rural county in northwestern Pennsylvania this K-9 Officer was ‘one of us’ and a loved member of our community; the loss was heartfelt by all. This award will not only allow the continuation of the K-9 program in Warren County, but open the possibilities for expansion to keep Warren County a safe place to visit and raise a family.” — Chief County Detective Brian K. Zeybel, Conewango Township Police Department.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is grateful for its generous supporters who have enabled it to maintain its K-9 grant program, including Pro Camps, as well as caring individual donors from around the country.
“The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and its hard-working K-9 Unit is profoundly grateful to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for its indispensable support. Our agency’s K-9s are devoted to their vital work upholding the safety of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and, most importantly, the thousands of citizens who visit facilities every year. Funds provided by the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will ensure our K-9s receive the ultimate medical, nutritional and overall care, as the majority of these costly expenses are financed by donations and fundraiser proceeds.” — Sheriff William Mullen, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.
In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Ben 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.”
You 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 percent of the purchase price to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.
“Thank you for awarding the Saline Police Department the 2019 Ben Roethlisberger Foundation K-9 grant. We are both humbled and honored to have been selected. Being a small community with limited financial resources, we often find that our needs surpass our available funding. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation K-9 grant will help tremendously in meeting our goals of reestablishing the Salineville Police Department K-9 Program.” — Chief Matthew Devlin, Salineville Police Department.