Jim and Diane are proud Placer County residents who wanted to give something back to their place of home. Both sets of Jim's grandparents moved here to start a new life; his mother's side, the Ruhkalas, emigrated from Finland, and his father's side came west in a wagon train. Jim's grandfather, William S. Williams, was Loomis Postmaster in the 1930s and his wife, Mary, was on the Board of Trustees for Loomis School. Jim explained, "They found a community that welcomed them and helped them find their way."
Jim and Diane have had a similar experience living here, and they made the decision to open the Williams Family Fund in honor of James T. & Ruth Ruhkala Williams as a way to acknowledge their community while preserving their rich family legacy. At the Placer Community Foundation donor appreciation event in January, Jim shared, "Diane and I wanted to honor my parents, their families, and the heritage they gave us. This is a nurturing community where we built our home, raised our family, and started a business and we feel privileged to live here. This fund is in gratitude for the privilege of living in a place like this that offers so much to its residents."
Placer Community Foundation is grateful for the Williams' generous gift which will provide permanent resources to seize current, critical opportunities to make a difference. Sadly, Ruth passed away in early February and will be missed by many.