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Police Press Releases

February 11, 2014

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Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Announces Grant to Replace Slain Pittsburgh Police K-9


Pittsburgh, PA – Yesterday, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback and Findlay, OH native, Ben Roethlisberger, announced that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation (BRF) at The Giving Back Fund will be making a contribution to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in honor of K-9 Rocco who was stabbed and killed in the lined of duty last month.

Ben Roethlisberger said, “The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation started when a police K-9 was shot and killed where I grew up in Findlay, OH. My family and I were moved by what that dog meant to the police force and learned that similar K-9's all over the country are helping to keep our communities safe. This last week, a K-9 officer named Rocco was killed in my current hometown of Pittsburgh. After talking with Officer Phil Lerza and getting his blessing, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation would like to announce that we are going to get Officer Lerza a new dog. Rocco can never be replaced, but we only hope to help with the healing process and to provide Officer Lerza with another loyal partner.”

Regina McDonald, Acting Chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, said, “We appreciate Ben Roethlisberger’s generosity and support. The Bureau will be looking, in the near future, to schedule a K-9 training class, evaluate potential K-9 handlers and purchase dogs. Officer Phil Lerza will be given first consideration for a new dog. His dog will be the one donated by the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.”

This announcement precedes this week’s expected announcement of nine K-9 grants to the Pittsburgh area as part of the 2013 BRF Grant Cycle. During the 2013-14 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has been 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 invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

This marks the seventh 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 strive to support Make-A-Wish.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is grateful for its generous supporters who have enabled it to expand its K-9 grant program and invite the public to donate to the Foundation in memory of K-9 Rocco’s at http://bigben7.com/the-ben-roethlisberger-foundation.

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 ninth 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 2012, 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, son Benjamin and his 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


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