COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Senior lacrosse player Alex Churchill wrote an extremely moving essay to become Gahanna Lincoln High School’s 2017 “Gahanna Bill” Withrow Blue & Gold Award winner.
Bill Withrow has become a town icon, and is simply known as “Gahanna Bill.” He was the manager of the Lions football team in high school, and he has been assisting Gahanna athletics for over 40 years. In 2001, Gahanna honored Bill’s devotion to the school by establishing the “Bill Withrow Blue & Gold Award.”
Nominated students write essays describing what “Gahanna Bill” means to them. Churchill wrote an essay titled “My Hero.” “You see the title of that? You’re my hero,” said Churchill as she sat next to Bill to read him her essay.
Churchill wrote, “If I treat all people the way he does, I will have a world full of friends.” She also said, “It literally took me forever… I was like ok, I have to write a really good essay about this person you can’t describe in words.”
Bill’s love of sports, and positive outlook on life despite his disability has stood an inspiration for Churchill. “I just thought about what he means to me and what he means to this community and this school and I just tried to word that the best way I could..it was really, really, really hard,” said Churchill.
On the night Gahanna presented the awards, Athletic Director Dustin Cullen read a few sentences from nominated student athlete essays. “I got a little emotional reading some of those things because it’s just incredible what these student athletes feel for Bill and what he does for them and the community,” said Cullen. However, Churchill’s essay ultimately stood out above the rest.
She wrote, “In order for me to make a change in this world, I must rise up and embrace the example Gahanna Bill has set for me.”
Cullen said, “She had a way of expressing how deeply she felt for Bill, and some of the qualities that Bill brings to the table that she’s going to take with her.”