’43’ is the one
Pittsburgh Steelers player Troy Polamalu walked into Longmore Academy on the campus of Mars Home for Youth on Oct. 10, unannounced, and quietly requested time to visit with the students.
He signed autographs on sweatshirts, notebooks and any scrap of paper anyone could find. He stood for pictures and informally talked with students about making good choices in life.
Students at Longmore Academy are not recognized for outstanding academic histories or even good decision making in their communities, but they clearly mean something to someone as special as Mr. Polamalu.
In a day where sports figures make the news for huge salaries, broken limbs or even substance abuse issues, it is time that newspapers cover an act of kind generosity. On his own time during a bye week when he could have been anywhere doing anything out of the public eye, Polamalu chose to share time with adolescents.
In his sincere, soft-spoken manner, he listened, talked and smiled with everyone. He gave of himself and has left an impact much greater than any media day or income tax return could ever imply.
Thank you, Troy Polamalu, for giving to this community. Your impact on the playing field, while considerable, is minor compared to how you have touched young people’s lives.
Janice R. Dunmire
The writer is principal of Longmore Academy.