Betty White Challenge goes viral on what would have been her 100th birthday

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A challenge encouraging people to donate to animal shelters in honor of Betty White went viral on what would have been the beloved actress' 100th birthday. 

She was 99. She died on Dec. 31, 2021, 17 days before her birthday.

The Betty White Challenge started as a social media post encouraging people to donate at least $5 to their local animal shelter, a cause White cared deeply for.

Thanks to the Betty White Challenge, donations have been pouring in at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha (HAWS) since 8 a.m.

"We've received gifts of $1,000, $500, $5," HAWS Executive Director Lynn Olenik said.

Sobelman's Waukesha committed to donating 50 percent of all proceeds on White's birthday to HAWS.

"I heard there's a really long wait! I think it's awesome, and they're not the only business," HAWS Executive Director Lynn Olenik told CBS 58.

Instead of a cake and candles, Sobelman's Waukesha is serving up a burger and fries to celebrate White. The pub's burger of the month is called the Betty White Burger. It's a standard burger topped with aged-white cheddar, bacon, fried onions, onion rings and honey mustard. 

"Doing a tribute to Betty White. She's an incredible person," Tom Laumann, a customer, said. "I wish she was still here, because she was quite a character."

Local shelters said people have also been dropping off other needed items, like food and blankets.


"Betty White. 100 years old. They know who she is and a lot of that had to do with not only her success as an actress, but the fact that she really cared about animals," Olenik said.

They're shocked to see the quick response, but appreciative that White's impact continues on.

"What a great way to honor her legacy and help animals at the same time," Elmbrook Humane Society Executive Director Natalie Hoskins said.

Donations will help with the overall care and surgical needs of the animals.

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