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Hometown Hero Earns Glorious Olympic Moment As Torch-Bearer

Amador grad Sarah Williams selected for her foster-kids blanket charity.

Her eight minutes of Olympic glory felt like 30 seconds, but proved a thrill that will last a lifetime for Pleasanton's Sarah Williams, 19, a torch-bearer in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

"It was such a rush and it went by so fast," said Williams, a 2011 graduate of  and one of 21 Americans selected by the Coca-Cola Co. to represent the United States in the relay leading up to the opening of the games in London.

"As you're running, you see the kids on the sides with their homemade torches," Williams said. "It was very fun."

Williams ran her leg of the ceremonial relay on July 9 in the town of Buckingham, an hour outside of Oxford.

A psychology and business student at Scripps College in Southern California, Williams was selected for her charity, Creative Kindness, that provides handmade blankets to foster children.

Williams shared in a Sunday meet-and-greet lecture at the , and showed off her rather heavy torch, explaining that the 8,000 holes in the aluminum design represent the 8,000 torch bearers, and that the triangular shape symbolizes the three times the games have been held in London.

"The craft of the torch is very special and unique," she said. 

Williams, who was one of thousands nominated for the torch-bearer spots,  actually learned of her selection in March but had to stay mum until May when Coca-Cola made its official announcement.

"I had to keep it a secret," said Williams, who traveled to England in June accompanied by her father, and said she was humbled by the honor to be chosen.

-- a blanket-making effort that she spearheaded after reading "Hope's Boy," by Andrew Bridge, in her Amador English class.

Moved by a foster child's plight in the story, Williams organized a community drive to craft handmade, fleece blankets for foster kids.

Her efforts snowballed into a full-on, not-for-profit operation, Creative Kindness, that now produces "Legacy Kits," ready-made packets of fleece, scissors and directions for blanket-making volunteers.

Williams told her library audience that she is still somewhat dazed that a simple assigned-reading task led to a charity, that has given away more that 3,500 blankets, and an estimated creation and donation of more than 20,000 blankets nationwide.

"Maybe the next book you'll read will change the lives of thousands, too," said Williams, adding she is now on a life-path of service to others.

As for her Olympic experience?

"Those eight minutes went by in 30 seconds for me," Williams said. "It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

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