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Area animal organizations receive $50,000 in #BettyWhiteChallenge donations

Guelph Humane Society has accepted nearly $30,000 in donations
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Animals lost a friend in Betty White late in 2021, but in honour of her birthday a viral campaign is raising money in her name.

Hundreds of area residents took up the #BettyWhiteChallenge on Monday, making donations to animal rescue organizations in memory of the actress who was well-known for her love of animals.

Local organizations received nearly $50,000 in contributions on and leading up to that day, which would have been White’s 100th birthday. The American comedic actress died on Dec. 31.

A social media campaign to honour White’s memory began to circulate soon after, urging people to make $5 donations to animal organizations on Jan. 17.

"Betty White has left an incredible legacy, and the amount of donations we received in her memory is a testament to that. I think we all hope to live our life the way she has – inspiring others to make the world a better place for all living creatures,” said Guelph Humane Society (GHS) executive director Adrienne McBride in an emailed statement. “The generous support we received on Betty's 100th will go a long way to ensuring we can provide the best care to the farm, domestic and wild animals that need GHS."

As of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, GHS had received nearly $30,000 in donations in Betty White’s memory. That includes just shy of $27,000 in online contributions from 690 donors, as well as $1,330 through Facebook donations and another $400 over the phone.

Donations ranged from $5 to $500, with many in the range of $50 to $100 made throughout the day.

“Happy 100th birthday Betty White. The world was a better place with you in it!” stated one online donor. “The animals on earth will miss your care and compassion.”

The organization also saw 16 people sign up to take part in the Super Paws Club on Monday in White’s honor, meaning they’ve pledged to make monthly donations for a year.

GHS offers full services, including animal bylaw enforcement, throughout Guelph, Centre Wellington and Guelph/Eramosa, as well as surrender and stray cat intake from Minto, Wellington North, Mapleton, Erin and Puslinch.

In a Facebook post, the Upper Credit Humane Society in Erin stated it has received $17,000 and counting courtesy of the #BettyWhiteChallenge.

“I'm sure you'll agree, Betty is smiling in heaven, knowing that you helped the animals at the Upper Credit Humane Society,” states the post.

Many smaller groups have also received #BettyWhiteChallenge donations, such as New Hope Animal Rescue on Jones Baseline which received $2,545 from 64 donors.

“It goes a long way to help,” commented Michelle Gettas, who notes fundraising opportunities have been few and far between since the pandemic began nearly two years ago. “(White) was a well-loved lady.”