Today, [Santa] Ben announced the 13th and 14th grant awards of the 2017 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.

121015_1The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Houston Fire Department and League City Police Department, near NRG Stadium where the Steelers will play the Texans on Christmas Day.

The Houston Fire Department will use the grant to purchase training and safety equipment for their K-9 arson unit.

“The Houston Fire Department’s Arson Bureau is extremely grateful to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. This grant will help ensure our canines can effectively serve the citizens of Houston. This grant will guarantee that our training continues to be above average and that our canines have the best safety equipment available. Because of our high call volume, the Houston Arson Bureau is the only city in the United States with two Accelerant Detection Canines provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF). “Humphrey” and “Lux” are an integral part of the Houston Arson Bureau and we honor their service to the City of Houston and thank the Roethlisberger foundation for their support.” — Houston Fire Department Deputy Chief Investigator Alison Stein.

The League City Police will use the funds to replace a soon-to-be-retired dual purpose police K-9.

“10-year-old League City Police K-9 Officer Chico will be retiring soon. Chico is one of four League City Police Department K-9 officers and is the most successful canine in the unit. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be providing funding to purchase a new K-9, assuring a seamless transition and allowing us to maintain K-9 coverage across all four patrol shifts. Upon certification of the new K-9, Chico will be able to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.” –League City Police Chief Michael Kramm.

During the 2017 NFL season, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has been 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 if the Steelers advance to the playoffs. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

Ben’s distributed more than $150,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2016 NFL season, including $76,000 in the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.65 million since 2007.

Steelers fans:

You can help support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (, using a special purchase code (77-7777). Sarris will donate 25 percent of the purchase price to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Jessica Duffaut at