Today, Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl Quarterback and Findlay, OH native, Ben Roethlisberger, announced the second grant of the 2012-13 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Oakland Police Department in Oakland, CA where the Steelers will play the Raiders this Sunday, September 23.
The Oakland PD K-9 unit currently consists of 14 dog teams, 12 of which are used on patrol. All are used to search and apprehend criminal suspects and two are cross trained for narcotics detection. The department is seeking financial assistance to purchase equipment that will be used by their K9 unit both in training and during deployment of the canines.
During the 2012-13 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be 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 grants to any two non-NFL market cities in the United States if the Steelers make the playoffs. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
This marks the sixth 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 and to support other charitable organizations, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Oakland Chief of Police Howard Jordan said, "The Oakland Police Department is grateful for the generous donation for such a vital program."
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."