Trisha Yearwood celebrated Betty White’s 100th birthday on Monday with her pup, a cake and a fundraising drive with her fans that raised more than $24,000 in 15 minutes for animal charities as part of the Betty White Challenge. The movement challenged people to donate $5 to an animal charity in honor of White’s birthday.
Yearwood and TalkShopLive, which hosted her fundraising livestream, each agreed to match donations up to $10,000.
“Who doesn’t love Betty White?” Yearwood said. “We all do. I just think Betty is so happy right now that this is how the world is choosing to celebrate her birthday by giving to animals, which was so near and dear to her heart. I don’t know who started the Betty White Challenge, but we accepted it.”
Yearwood collected the donations for her pet charity Dottie’s Yard, which she named after a favorite dog and uses to distribute funds to animal shelters and organizations in need. She said she and her team were vetting 10-15 charities as possible beneficiaries.
“She was beautiful and funny and smart and full of love,” Yearwood said of White. “The world has really lost a wonderful person, but this is how we keep people that we love alive. I think we should do this every year on Betty’s birthday."
By Tuesday morning, Yearwood had raised more than $38,000.
White, beloved for her roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls” and more, died on New Year's Eve, just 17 days from her 100th birthday.
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