As you are undoubtedly aware, Betty White died unexpectedly just weeks before turning 100. Well, her birthday is January 17 and folks are gearing up to celebrate with the #BettyWhiteChallenge. It encourages people to donate five bucks to a local animal rescue/shelter in her honor. If you'd like to participate and aren't sure where to send your money, maybe give your gift to American Humane, an organization she rallied behind for 70 years!
Also, her hometown of Oak Park, Illinois, has proclaimed January 17 as "Betty White Day" and plans to make it an annual event.
For Betty's special day, the Oak Park small business community is banding together to offer discounts to customers and "Betty White specials." For example, Mickey's Restaurant will be offering a special consisting of a hotdog, fries, and diet coke — one of Betty's favorite meals, and Turano Bakery is planning to make a giant birthday cake. Scaman tells us cutouts of Betty will cover walls in the downtown area.
The celebration will continue with a Betty White mural contest, in which the winning mural will be painted downtown. And, there's a bonus … most everyone in town will already be off from work as BWD happens to fall on a national holiday — MLK Jr. Day — this year.
(Is it a little weird that an animal lover's favorite meal included a hot dog?! I say skip the hot dog and get straight to the donating.)
Additionally, on January 17, 2022 only, a documentary film originally titled Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration will screen in 900 US theaters. You can learn where Betty White: A Celebration is showing at its Fathom site (though, please stay home so you don't get exposed to Covid).
From its producers:
…During the many years we worked with her, we developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person, and as an accomplished entertainer. We are thankful for the many decades of delight she brought to everyone. Betty always said she was the "luckiest broad on two feet" to have had a career as long as she did. And honestly, we were the lucky ones to have had her for so long.
We will go forward with our plans to show the film on January 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life—and experience what made her such a national treasure.