Heart of a Champion

Abby Grawe RESIZEAbby Grawe and her teammates on the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team were leaving Redbird Arena in Bloomington, Illinois for the last time, and each player took her turn carrying the massive state championship trophy. 

After years of floor burns, elbows to the ribs, and miles of running up and down the court, these girls could raise the trophy high.

They are champions.

For Abby, it’s the fourth state championship team she’s been on, already winning two each in basketball and soccer.  But that’s only a small part of her story.

The trophies hint at her tough resolve and determination to excel, but those are only two of her finest qualities.  While she may be tough as nails, she’s also tender at heart, and that’s been obvious throughout her lifetime of charity work through the Quincy branch of Western Catholic Union.

“Volunteering has been apart of my entire life. Personally, I love to volunteer and help a good cause. I love the atmosphere when I’m around it, Abby said.  “In sports, a team works together to achieve a common goal. I think the same effort is applied in charity work. Many people come together for the good of society.”

Her parents, Joe and Gail Grawe of Liberty, Illinois, have always included their children in WCU charity work, and it gave Abby and her cousins a chance to get together.  They had so much fun they didn’t realize that they were working, too.   Joe has been on the WCU Board of Trustees for years, and now the family WCU tradition continues.  As Abby becomes an adult, charity work is an important part of her life. “My parents have been involved in so many service activities that it almost became a second nature to me,” she said.  “Without their example I would not be the person I am today. Their unselfish giving has impacted my life in too many ways to count.”

“I will always have my solid foundation of charity and service with me throughout life.”

This basketball team was something special.  Although QND only has 391 students, the team finished undefeated and ranked 21st in one national poll.  While Abby excels in both soccer and cross country, she was a role-player on this team, doing whatever was needed to make her teammates, and the team, better.

Once again, Abby was unselfish and dependable, just like in her charity work.

WCU children are about to make their mark on our world.  “I think many young people do understand the need of charity work. I have witnessed so many youth groups and young generations traveling places to help others and to do service work for others,” Abby said.

“In the future, charity work will be needed just as much, if not even more. I plan on always being a part of the WCU and helping the community.”