Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback and Findlay, OH native, Ben Roethlisberger, 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 where the Steelers play their home games.
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 PD, Eureka Hose Company, Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department, Johnstown PD, Masontown PD, Penn Hills PD, and 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.
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 Ben Roethlisberger 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, the Ben Roethlisberger 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.
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.”
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.”
For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Stephanie Sandler or visit www.bigben7.com or www.givingback.org.
About Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is in his eighth season as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and already has secured his place in the record books. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, he is aptly referred to as Big Ben, and has become known for big performances and a humble approach. Roethlisberger is one of only 10 starting quarterbacks to win two or more Super Bowls. In 2009, he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa with a thrilling touchdown pass in the final seconds. In 2006, Roethlisberger became the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit. Roethlisberger was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007, and already holds most of the passing records for the Steelers. He is the only quarterback to lead his team to the conference championship game in each of his first two seasons. He was the unanimous Rookie of the Year in 2004, breaking Dan Marino’s rookie records for completion percentage and passer rating, and was the first quarterback in NFL history to compile a 13-0 regular season record as a rookie.
Roethlisberger was raised in Findlay, OH and was a three-sport star at Findlay High School. He went on to set nearly every quarterback record at Miami University (Ohio) prior to foregoing his senior season and becoming the 11th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2004 NFL Draft. Roethlisberger resides near Pittsburgh with his wife Ashley and his two dogs, Zeus and Hercules.
About The Giving Back Fund
The Giving Back Fund (GBF) is a national public charity that creates and professionally manages charitable foundations and other philanthropic programs for athletes, entertainers, business entrepreneurs, and corporations. Since our founding in 1997, GBF has created an important niche in expanding and diversifying philanthropy, particularly among young people, women and people of color. Our unique structure allows donors to direct more of their charitable dollars to causes they care about and less to administrative overhead. To date, The Giving Back Fund has provided philanthropic consulting, management and programming to more than 200 athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and other high net worth individuals. GBF has overseen the distribution of more than $30,000,000 in charitable grants within the United States and other countries, and has developed dozens of unique scholarship, mentoring, medical, arts, and other philanthropic programs. For additional information, please visit www.givingback.org.