PRESS RELEASE

Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Announces Cleveland Area K-9 Grants


Pittsburgh, Pa. – Today, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Quarterback and Findlay, OH native, Ben Roethlisberger, announced three grants from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Aurora Police Department, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department and Richmond Heights Police Department, all in the Cleveland area where the Steelers will play the Browns on Sunday, January 3.

Aurora PD has just recently re-established their K-9 unit with the addition of K-9 Nero and plans to use the funds to finish Nero’s training and outfit him with a bulletproof vest. Richmond Heights PD is also hoping to re-establish their K-9 unit and will continue fundraising efforts. Meanwhile, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department will utilize the grant to update the “hot-n-pop” system in one of their K-9 vehicles. The system allows for remote door operation and heat alerts, ensuring the safety of the K-9 when left in the vehicle.

During the 2015-16 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed 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 for each playoff game in which the Steelers compete. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

This marks the ninth season that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. The mission of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States, with a particular emphasis on support for service dogs in Pittsburgh, PA. Roethlisberger and the Foundation also support Make-A-Wish.

The Foundation distributed more than $130,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2014-15 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.3 million since 2007.

Aurora Chief of Police Brian Byard said, “The Aurora Police Department is extremely grateful to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for their generous contribution toward the purchasing of K-9 Nero who will make a great addition to our department. On behalf of all of law enforcement, we are grateful to have organizations such as the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation that provide continued support to law-enforcement entities across 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.”

Fans of The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com), 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 or visit www.bigben7.com or www.givingback.org.
About Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is in his 12th season as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was selected for the 2015 Pro Bowl game—the third selection of his career. 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, 2012 and 2014, 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 forgoing 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, son Benjamin, daughter Baylee and dog 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.

Contacts:
Jessica Duffaut                                                  Ryan Tollner
The Giving Back Fund                                     REP 1 Sports Group
310.649.5222                                                      949.748.6000
jduffaut@givingback.org                              ryan@rep1sports.com
www.givingback.org                                       www.rep1sports.com

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