JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ahead of Sunday's game at EverBank Field between the Jaguars and the Steelers, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger set aside the gridiron rivalry to announce a donation to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation announced Thursday that it will fulfill JSO's grant request to fund the purchase of a new police service dog.
"The timing is excellent, as we are about to retire a PSD who has reached the end of his service life," Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said in a news release. "Thank you for your appreciation of these valued canines, as they are a tremendous asset to law enforcement and first responder organizations nationwide."
The grant, which is being provided through The Giving Back Fund, will be applied to the purchase of a new dog that JSO plans to have certified in patrol and bomb detection.
During the 2014-15 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 a grant to a non-NFL market city in the United States for each playoff game in which the Steelers compete.
Roethlisberger invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
This marks the eighth season that The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. The mission of his 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, Pennsylvania. Ben and the Foundation also strive to support Make-A-Wish.
The Foundation distributed $157,600 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2013 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.2 million since 2007.