In the kind of low-profile way that acts of charity are supposed to be performed, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith assisted Saturday in the search of a missing Morgan Hill girl.
15-year-old Sierra LaMar failed to show up at school two weeks ago, and Smith was among the 581 volunteers who showed up on Saturday to help.
“He wasn’t there for attention. He was there to search,” Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, was killed after being kidnapped from her California home in 1993, told the San Jose Mercury News. “It was about his heart. It’s certainly a touching thing, and it’s a huge thing, too. By showing up, he provided a value that went well beyond his own presence as a searcher.”
Klaas said it was the first time a celebrity has joined a search organized by the KlaasKids Foundation without first being asked. “For somebody of that stature to take his own initiative and do something like this to show that he cares about the family and the community, I’m just thrilled, and I imagine Sierra LaMar’s family is, too,” Klaas said. “It shows you the kind of person Alex Smith must be.”
Not only has Smith refrained from seeking attention, he actively has avoided it.
All too often, athletes and celebrities go out of their way to make sure everyone knows about their good deeds, and in those situations it’s always fair to at least be skeptical of their motives. In this case, Smith hasn’t tried to make it about himself or to in any way pump up his image. And for that, he deserves plenty of credit — even though he apparently wants none of it.