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June 23, 2021

Donors rally to raise funds for rider’s funeral

In the days since Gilroy resident Doug Williams, 23, was found dead in the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area after a collision with a tree, the community has rallied to pay for the cost of his funeral.
In one day, community members raised $2,705 on gofundme.com. That’s nearly half the cost of an average funeral, organizers explained. Originally, coordinators asked for $2,000 but they increased the number to cover more of the funeral costs as donations poured in.
“Doug was an incredible person. He had a big heart. Loved to ride, worked hard, loved to make his friends laugh and have fun,” wrote fundraiser coordinator Monica De Shetler in an email to the Free Lance on Friday morning. “Doug always wanted everyone to be happy.”
In the photo above the call for donations, Williams wears a green ball cap and smile.
Some donors gave anonymously. Others on the fundraising site recalled moments they loved about a special, young adult and pledged funds from $10 to $200.
“You really were an angel on Earth,” wrote a donor using the name Phoenixx Auguer. “I just wish you weren’t called home so soon. Ron, you raised one hell of a kid, man!”
Not everyone who donated knew Williams, but many commented that his passing was untimely.
“I don’t know this family, but very sorry to hear about this tragedy,” wrote Joyce Sampson.
Most mentioned a man with a big heart, warm smile and great hugs. They called him “Douglas” and “Dougie.”
“It’s sad to see such a great person with a big heart leave this earth so young,” Zac Sanchez wrote. “It’s been awhile since I last saw you and talked but somehow someway you always knew how to reach out to someone in need. It was heartbreaking to wake up and see that this happened to such an amazing person.”
Several identified with Williams’ ties to the motorcycle community and with the thrill and danger of each ride.
 “My family was born and raised riding motorcycles,” Liz Sciutto Robinson wrote. “Every time you get on your bike you never know the outcome of each ride. That’s what makes the ride exciting … My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time.”
People who knew Williams are also organizing donation jars along with custom T-shirts, bracelets and stickers a to gather proceeds for any expenses the biker’s family may incur at this time, wrote Monica De Shetler in an email to the Free Lance.
To make a donation, go to: gofundme.com/p9bbqo.

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