Animal shelters and rescue organizations in Port Alberni are feeling the love after community members came together to raise money in honour of the late actress Betty White.
White died on Dec. 31, 2021, just a couple weeks shy of turning 100 years old. The actor was a television mainstay for more than 60 years and in the days following her death, images of the former Golden Girl star hugging puppies spread across the internet as the #BettyWhiteChallenge took firm hold.
Fans of the late actress were encouraged to pick a local animal rescue and donate $5 in her name on Jan. 17 to recognize what would have been her 100th birthday.
Several Port Alberni organizations took part in the challenge. Bosley’s in Port Alberni partnered with Ziggy’s Rescue—a local dog rescue—and raised “just shy” of $345 from people donating at the checkout. Ziggy’s Rescue posted on Facebook afterwards that the organization received $425 in donations.
“I know she was looking down yesterday beaming with pride for her fellow humans,” said Ziggy’s Rescue.
Valley Cats – Alberni Cat Rescue received $1,579 in donations through an online fundraiser.
“We are so thankful to our community for coming together in such a meaningful way,” the organization posted on Facebook afterwards.
The local Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA branch raised around $830 in donations for the Betty White Challenge, while provincially the BC SPCA reported a one-day haul of more than $400,000.
“This amazing tribute to Betty White will make a huge difference for animals,” the organization posted on its Facebook page.
In the wake of that love, the BC SPCA is planning to honour her in a special way.
“We reached out to Betty’s team to let her know what an amazing impact she has had for B.C. animals, they were thrilled and knew she would be, too. We also asked if we could do a special limited edition Betty shirt … and they said yes!”
The shirts will be available on the BC SPCA’s website when they are ready.