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Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Announces Cook County K-9 Grant

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Sunday, September 20, 2009 — Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced today the first grant in the 2009 grant cycle of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.  The grant will be distributed to the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Canine Unit headquartered in Maywood, IL through their fiscal sponsor, Best Friends Animal Society.  The department is seeking financial assistance for the purchase of a canine to replace one that was recently lost due to retirement.

This NFL season The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be distributing grants to Police and Fire Departments in Pittsburgh and in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away opponent for the Steelers in 2009.  The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has invited police and fire departments in the eight cities to submit proposals detailing their needs.

In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Roethlisberger said, “Last year it was an honor and a privilege to work with police and fire departments in and around the Pittsburgh area as well as with others around the country.  We have had the opportunity to see first-hand how important the dogs are to these men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us.  It’s incredible to see the strong bond that is formed between the dogs and their partners both on the job and at home. ”

“The Cook County Sheriff’s Police K-9 Unit is utilized everyday by our department and also by numerous suburban agencies within Cook County, demonstrating how canine teams have become an integral part of everyday police work,” said Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.  “Being able to add another team to our canine unit will enable our department to even better serve the citizens of Cook County.  We are honored to be the first recipient of this year’s grant and thank The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for its generous support to local law enforcement.”

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation seeks to provide support for police and fire departments throughout the US and to enhance the quality of life for residents of Findlay, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.

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 sixth season as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and already has secured his place in the record books.  At 6 foot 5 and 245 pounds, “Big Ben” has become known for big performances and a humble approach.  In 2006, Big Ben became the youngest starting quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit.  In the process, the Steelers became the first team to win three playoff games on the road.  Ben’s record as a starter in his first two seasons was an astonishing 27-4, and 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 record in the regular season.  In 2009, Big Ben added a second Super Bowl Championship to his astounding resume on the field.

Ben was raised in Findlay, Ohio 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.  Ben resides near Pittsburgh with his two dogs, Zeus and Hercules.  His parents, Ken and Brenda Roethlisberger, recently moved to Pittsburgh and his sister Carlee is attending the University of Oklahoma on a basketball scholarship.

About The Giving Back Fund

The Giving Back Fund (www.givingback.org) is a national nonprofit organization established in 1997 to provide professional philanthropic management, consulting, and mentoring to athletes, entertainers and others.  With offices in Boston and Los Angeles, The Giving Back Fund has worked successfully with more than 100 professional athletes, entertainers, and business entrepreneurs, helping them achieve their philanthropic goals. It has overseen the distribution of more than $20 million dollars in charitable grants, programs, and scholarships.  While The Giving Back Fund has developed special expertise in providing philanthropic consulting to athletes and entertainers, its services are available to anyone committed to increasing the impact of their philanthropy.  

About Best Friends Animal Society

Founded in 1984, Best Friends Animal Society operates the nation’s largest companion animal sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals. Located in southwestern Utah, Best Friends is the subject of a national television series, “DogTown,” which in 2010 will enter its fourth season on the National Geographic Channel.

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