Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been playing in the NFL for 12 years, but football isn't the only thing that's important to him. Ten years ago Ben started the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to support police and fire departments across the country with an emphasis on support for K-9 units and service dogs.
“My Dad instilled in me a love and respect for animals," said Ben. "This is a good way to combine that passion with a desire to support the police and fire departments, which deserve all the appropriate resources needed to protect our cities and neighborhoods, and allow these brave men and women to arrive home safely.”
The foundation distributes grants in the Steelers' hometown of Pittsburgh, as well as the communities of each regular season away game the Steelers play. Those cities include Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Buffalo and Cincinnati.
The most recent grants were to the Erlanger Police Department to add a new canine officer to their team, and to the Northern Kentucky University Police to install a temperature monitor in their designated K-9 police cruiser. The school's police dog, Arritt, responds to bomb threats and unattended packages in and around campus, as well as assisting other agencies in the region.
The foundation distributed more than $170,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2015 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.5 million since 2007.
“We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units." explained Ben. "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.”
We agree, what a wonderful way to help communities around the country and the dog that support them.
To learn more about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, or to submit a grant application, visit their web site.