As a prelude to the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town to play the St. Louis Rams on Sun., Sept. 27, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced the second grant of the 2015-16 season from The Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. This grant is going to the City of Hazelwood.
The Hazelwood Police Department (HPD) will be using the grant funds to purchase and train a new dog for its K-9 unit. Officer Brian Hale’s K-9 partner Chavier is 10 years old and will be retiring soon. The department needs another canine to replace him.
During the 2015-16 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities 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 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 his charity Foundation also support Make-A-Wish.
The Fountain distributed more than $130,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2014-15 NFL season. A total in excess of $1.3 million since 2007.
Hazelwood Chief of Police Gregg Hall said, “The acquisition of a new canine will enable the HPD to improve its narcotic drug investigation and crime suspect apprehension capabilities in order to keep Hazelwood a safe community for its citizens.”
Hazelwood Police Capt. Mark McKeon said, “I would like to thank The Foundation and its employees for the great honor in being selected for this canine grant. We also appreciate the assistance we received from the Ryan Griffin Memorial Scholarship Fund for obtaining the grant.”
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 these dogs and their handlers, as well as the bond that is formed between them is incredible. We’re just thrilled to do our small part.”