Dakin Supporters Create Wave of Generosity for Betty White

On December 31, 2021, the news quickly went viral of the passing of television’s First Lady, Betty White. As word spread, a palpable wave of sadness washed over what felt like the entire world as New Year’s Eve preparations were busily underway. Betty White was 99 years old and had been filming segments to be played during her 100th birthday celebration just three weeks ahead.

White’s effervescent personality and kind nature carried her through an eight-decade-long career in television and film where she broke boundaries as the first woman in the US to produce a sitcom. When she wasn’t applying her quick wit and clever punchlines for the cameras, Betty’s attention was on her other passion — animal welfare.

From a half-century of work with the Los Angeles Zoo to working on committees in the veterinary industry, Betty used her platform to bring awareness to animals, wild and domestic. She was involved with the Morris Animal Foundation, which assisted in the successful development of vaccines to prevent feline leukemia and parvovirus.

Shortly after her passing, the “Betty White Challenge” swept rapidly across social media as so many of her admirers felt inspired to celebrate her upcoming birthday through a collective act of kindness toward animals. From then on, Dakin began to receive donations from all directions in Betty’s memory. We warmly acknowledged each gift, sharing in the remembrance of such a kind soul.

With over $41,000 rapidly donated to support Dakin’s work for pets and people, we were overwhelmed with gratitude for your amazing support. We know this massive outpouring of generosity for animals in Betty's name would mean everything to her.

Group of staff members at Baystate Franklin Medical Center
Members of our community also came together for Betty and hosted independent fundraisers including Nurse Kristen Gates and the staff of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Emergency Department, raising over $100 in Betty’s name.
Betty White donation contest flyer
Local artist Heather Herindeen of Lights and Darks created a beautiful original portrait of Betty in graphite, charcoal, and pan pastel. A print of this piece was donated to Stafford Cidery and became part of an auction-style fundraiser. Thanks to this collaboration, along with donated tips, a gift of over $400 was made to Dakin in support of animals.

In an interview, Betty said, “Animals are near and dear to my heart and I’ve devoted my life to trying to improve theirs.” Her legacy of dedication to all animals lived on, because of you. From all of us at Dakin, thank you for your kind support.

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