Today, Ben announced the final grants of the 2011-12 season from The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing nine grants totaling $52,400 to police and fire departments in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

The K-9 Departments receiving funding from The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation this year are Borough of Aspinwall PD; Butler County Sheriff’s Office; City of Aliquippa Police Department; Eureka Hose Company; Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department; Johnstown Police Department; Masontown Police Department; Penn Hills Police Department; and the Westmoreland County Park Police.

Funds will be used to cover canine purchases, training, safety and training equipment, food and other necessary expenses of the K-9 units.

Mike Manko, Communications Director at Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, said, “In keeping with a commitment to canine programs that Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala made when he first took office, the office is pleased to partner with Ben Roethlisberger and The Giving Back Fund by donating $15,000 this year to assist the grant program in funding a number of canine units in Allegheny County.”

This announcement completes the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation’s fifth grant cycle, during which it distributed more than $130,000 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 2011-12 season. The Foundation invited police and fire departments in the eight cities to submit proposals detailing their needs.

The 2011-12 NFL season also marked the first grant cycle that allowed non-NFL market cities to apply with grants to be awarded for every Steeler playoff game.

Since 2007, Ben’s Foundation has made 98 grants totaling almost $850,000 to 94 police and fire departments and four community youth organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities. These 94 canine grants have funded the purchase of more than 55 dogs, the training of more than 25 dogs and 50 handlers, safety equipment for more than of 45 dogs and training equipment for more than 25 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, Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, NFL Charities, and REP1 Sports as well as caring individual donors from around the country.

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.”

You can read more about Ben’s Foundation here.

You can learn more about The Giving Back Fund here.