By Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
Thousands of dollars have been raised for local animal charities and organizations in the name of beloved actress Betty White.
Betty White, star of The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was a prominent animal welfare advocate. Following her death on New Year’s Eve at the age of 99, a social media campaign dubbed #thebettywhitechallenge tasked fans the world over to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday on January 17 by making a donation of at least $5 (or whatever was manageable) to the animal organization of their choice.
“The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society received over $120,000 in donations through the Betty White Challenge,” says Melissa Kosowan, Associate Director of Communications, for the Ontario SPCA, which is based in Whitchurch-Stouffville near Woodbine and Mulock Drive. “We are so thankful to everyone who made a gift in Betty’s honour to change the lives of animals in need.”
Dog Tales Animal Rescue and Sanctuary saw similar successes.
They received several donations after raising awareness of the challenge online.
“Let’s all honour an amazing woman who had a strong passion for animals,” said the organization on January 17. “Do your part by donating towards an animal rescue of your choice in Betty’s memory. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to Dog Tales or other rescues on this special day. Your support means the world to us and our furry friends.”
On January 18, they added: “The donations yesterday were significant in both the number of donations and overall amount.”
As The Auroran reported earlier this month, White had strong ties to the community of Aurora.
It is the birthplace of her paternal grandmother, Ettie Lundy, who married the Danish born Christian White in their family home which still stands on the southwest corner of Yonge and Reuben Streets. Significantly altered since it was first constructed, it is now the base for Carruthers Financial.
Following their deaths in Illinois in the 1930s and 40s, the remains of both Ettie and Christian White were brought home to Lundy family plot and continue to rest in the northwest quadrant of Aurora Cemetery.