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Old 05-28-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, May 28, 2007


Forgive Troy Polamalu if he is a little fidgety Thursday night, if the hard-hitting, soft-spoken safety is anything but comfortable at the Downtown YMCA's 33rd Annual Scholar Athlete Banquet that will celebrate many things, including (gasp!) him.
Polamalu is generally loathe to talk about himself when it comes to anything and that especially includes the work he does off the field -- whether it's making the day of a sick child or starting a foundation to help a group that Polamalu said is too often cast aside by society.

"I don't really feel comfortable taking credit for anything," Polamalu said of his commitment to charity. "To me it's something we're supposed to do."

That sense of duty and what has resulted from it since Polamalu became a Steeler is a major reason why he will be awarded the Downtown YMCA's Person of the Year Award Thursday at the Pittsburgh Hilton.

Past winners of the award, which will be given at the banquet that honors area high school student-athletes, include Dan Rooney, Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Andy Russell, Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis.
"(Polamalu) really has shown himself to be on of the leaders in Pittsburgh on and off the field," said Ken Horoho, a longtime YMCA board member who chairs the banquet.

If Polamalu is one of the most giving Steelers, he also has his own unique style of doing so, and that's with as little publicity as possible.

Best put, one of the most recognizable Steelers is one of the most stealth Steelers when it comes to doing good deeds.

"Troy is always willing to make a difference in a child's life, though he doesn't seek the spotlight for his actions," Steelers community relations manager Michele Rosenthal said. "He enjoys spending time with a Make-a-Wish child or dropping in for a surprise visit to Children's Hospital and making those he visits feel like they are the most important person in the world."

Indeed, Polamalu does not show up at hospitals just to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

He forges a personal connection with the sick children he visits on a regular basis, which makes their experiences that much more special.

"I could sit there and see 50 kids and literally scribble on a piece of paper and have them be satisfied," Polamalu said. "It would be way more authentic for me to say 'Hey Michael, hey Luke, hey John, how are you guys doing' and really get to know everybody."

Polamalu soon will try to do the same things with veterans of war.

He and his wife, Theodora, are in the process of starting a foundation that will benefit veterans (the issue of their treatment is personal to the Polamalus since three of their grandfathers served in World War II).

In typical Polamalu fashion, his work with the foundation will entail much more than just raising money for it and its beneficiaries.

The three-time Pro Bowler said he plans to spend time with veterans to show them that people care about them, to, as Polamalu said, "give them love."

"The easiest thing to do is to give money, especially when you have a high-paying job," Polamalu said. "I think when you sacrifice time is when you really sacrifice something."
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_509844.html


Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, May 28, 2007

Forgive Troy Polamalu if he is a little fidgety Thursday night, if the hard-hitting, soft-spoken safety is anything but comfortable at the Downtown YMCA's 33rd Annual Scholar Athlete Banquet that will celebrate many things, including (gasp!) him.

Polamalu is generally loathe to talk about himself when it comes to anything and that especially includes the work he does off the field -- whether it's making the day of a sick child or starting a foundation to help a group that Polamalu said is too often cast aside by society.

"I don't really feel comfortable taking credit for anything," Polamalu said of his commitment to charity. "To me it's something we're supposed to do."

That sense of duty and what has resulted from it since Polamalu became a Steeler is a major reason why he will be awarded the Downtown YMCA's Person of the Year Award Thursday at the Pittsburgh Hilton.

Past winners of the award, which will be given at the banquet that honors area high school student-athletes, include Dan Rooney, Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Andy Russell, Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis.

"(Polamalu) really has shown himself to be on of the leaders in Pittsburgh on and off the field," said Ken Horoho, a longtime YMCA board member who chairs the banquet.

If Polamalu is one of the most giving Steelers, he also has his own unique style of doing so, and that's with as little publicity as possible.

Best put, one of the most recognizable Steelers is one of the most stealth Steelers when it comes to doing good deeds.

"Troy is always willing to make a difference in a child's life, though he doesn't seek the spotlight for his actions," Steelers community relations manager Michele Rosenthal said. "He enjoys spending time with a Make-a-Wish child or dropping in for a surprise visit to Children's Hospital and making those he visits feel like they are the most important person in the world."

Indeed, Polamalu does not show up at hospitals just to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

He forges a personal connection with the sick children he visits on a regular basis, which makes their experiences that much more special.

"I could sit there and see 50 kids and literally scribble on a piece of paper and have them be satisfied," Polamalu said. "It would be way more authentic for me to say 'Hey Michael, hey Luke, hey John, how are you guys doing' and really get to know everybody."

Polamalu soon will try to do the same things with veterans of war.

He and his wife, Theodora, are in the process of starting a foundation that will benefit veterans (the issue of their treatment is personal to the Polamalus since three of their grandfathers served in World War II).

In typical Polamalu fashion, his work with the foundation will entail much more than just raising money for it and its beneficiaries.

The three-time Pro Bowler said he plans to spend time with veterans to show them that people care about them, to, as Polamalu said, "give them love."

"The easiest thing to do is to give money, especially when you have a high-paying job," Polamalu said. "I think when you sacrifice time is when you really sacrifice something."


Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.


I am proud that Troy is a Steeler!!
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

Congrats to Troy on an honor that's well-deserved. Nice to read stories like this as opposed to someone getting arrested for a change.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

if only every NFL player was like troy
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

The maturity and leadership Troy brings is amazing (especially at his age). For everyone that is worried about the "leadership vaccum" (no Bus, Peezy and soon Faneca), just remember leadership takes many forms. Those with the abilty to lead by example, off the filed too, can have just as much of a positive impact on the team as the rah-rah yappers.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

Folks - please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top - check to see if a thread has already been started before you post a new thread. Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

Every time I read about this guy or see him on TV, I gain more respect for him.

Congrats, Troy!
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

congrats to Troy.
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Polamalu to receive YMCA top honor

Good for him. From what I've seen and heard the guy deserves it.
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