Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is already in line to rack up more than a few individual honors for his accomplishments on the field in 2013.
Those aren't the best things he's done, though.
One of the more active professional athletes by way of charities, Roethlisberger was named the team's recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Each team has one player selected for the award, and three finalists are named for the league's version of it. The winner of that is announced before the Super Bowl.
In 2006, Roethlisberger started the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which makes grants to local police and fire departments with an emphasis on K-9 units and service dogs. The idea came when a police dog named Flip was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2006 in Roethlisberger’s hometown. Since 2007, the Foundation has made 123 grants nationwide, totaling more than $1 million to 117 police and fire departments and several youth organizations. The canine grants have funded the purchase of at least 72 dogs, the training of more than 25 additional dogs and 54 handlers and safety and training equipment, food, vet services and housing for countless more.
For his contributions, Roethlisberger became the first non-law enforcement individual to be honored by the Annual Amen Corner Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards in October 25, 2013.
One of his favorite charities is Make-A-Wish. He enjoys not only being part of the wish experience but helping to make other children’s wishes come true. This year, his foundation made its second annual donation to Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania to help grant more wishes, increasing from $25,000 to $30,000.
Past winners of this award in the NFL include Steelers running backs Franco Harris (1976) Jerome Bettis (2001) and wide receiver Lynn Swann (1981).
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