The Humane Society Yukon is thanking Betty White and the local community for being a friend.
On Jan. 17, the society received $7,500 in donations thanks to the Betty White Challenge.
White, who died Dec. 31, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 17.
Along with her celebrity status for an acting career that spanned seven decades and ranged from roles in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls, as a host on Saturday Night Live and much more, White was well-known as an animal-rights advocate.
It was in that spirit the #BettyWhiteChallenge sprang up on social media, encouraging fans and animal lovers to donate $5 (or more) to animal rescues in her honour, marking what would have been her birthday.
By the end of the day, the Humane Society Yukon, which runs the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, had received $7,500 in White’s honour.
“We’re just so grateful and blown away by how people have responded to Betty White’s death and birthday,” Shelley Williamson, the society’s executive director, said in a Jan. 19 interview. “What a fabulous human being and icon.”
The shelter was among many to take to social media about the challenge, but it is also honouring White’s legacy in another way by naming one of its puppies after the actress and animal rights advocate.
While Williamson said the society was optimistic it would see donations made in White’s honour, it was a surprise to see just how many donations came in.
Williamson said the shelter continues to be busy with more animals coming in, making finances a continued challenge and the donations will go a long way towards operating the shelter.
“It just really lifted spirits,” she said of the donations, highlighting the generosity of Yukoners.
She also said it’s been exciting to hear about the impact the challenge has had on animal shelters and organizations in other regions with many reporting a significant influx of donations to mark the day.
Many on social media have put forward the possibility of the #BettyWhiteChallenge becoming an annual event, something Williamson said she’d love to see.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org