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Williams’ daughters thankful for support

The daughters of Hetty Williams said Tuesday they were overwhelmed by the support shown by the local community on Sunday after an event organized to benefit them raised $17,600. The amount might continue to increase, as several items have not yet been collected by the bidders from the organizers.

The money raised will be divided between the two sisters, Briana and Sarah Williams, and will help both with their future plans.

“Briana is using it to go to college,” Sarah said. “I am probably, in a year and a half, going to the graduate school.”



Both siblings attended the event at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City and were moved by what they saw.

“It’s incredible,” Sarah said. “I was totally blown away when I was told it was $15,000 at the end of the night (of the event). Then hearing that it’s more, I can never express my gratitude to the people.”




The girls’ mother, 48-year-old Hetty Williams, was found dead Oct. 22 in the home she once shared with her husband, Richard Williams, on Alta Street in Grass Valley. Richard Williams, 51, who has been charged with her murder, is being held at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility without bail.

Sarah, an English graduate of University of California at Santa Barbara, now works at a local restaurant and takes photography classes at Sierra College. Briana is a senior at Nevada Union High School.

Howard Levine, executive director of Grass Valley Downtown Association, had expected to raise around $10,000 from the event while the Nevada Union Key Club, the organizers, had estimated the amount to be about $5,000.

Some of the high-range bids included a weeklong stay at a condominium in Hawaii, which went for $1,300; a Golden Legacy painting donated by the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce sold for $475; a three-night stay at a condominium in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe went for $375; and a stone face sculpture of Buddha sold for $250, Key Club President Andy Tweed said.

“My belief is that the community most times has the feeling about how and why they want to give money to somebody,” said Levine, who is also the Kiwanis board advisor of the Nevada Union Key Club. “I think in this instance, Hetty had a large network through her school and people were familiar with her. They knew what her expectations were for the quality of life, and that her children represent the ability to reach those expectations, and they want to support that … The conscience of the community is very important. I think people in this community, even outside this event, represent the conscience on a regular basis.”

“It’s just awesome to see how people in the community was touched by my mom and what happened,” Sarah said. “We couldn’t have gotten through without these people.”

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To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen , e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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