Today, Ben 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 area.

PittsburghPoliceThe K-9 Departments receiving funding from Ben’s Foundation this year are the 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.

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, “I appreciate 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.”

PittsburghPD_2008Finally, 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.”

This announcement completes the 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’s 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.

You can read more about Ben’s Foundation here!

You can read an article about the grant to the Borough of Kittanning by Jonathan Weaver at The Kittanning Paper here.