MARINETTE, Wisc. (WJMN) – People all over the world have participated in the Betty White Challenge in rememberance of the beloved actress who would have turned 100 on January 17.

The social media campaign encourages people to donate to their local animal shelters, as Betty was a lover of and advocate for animals. Joe Posephny from Menominee, Mich. found a way to do just that and maybe got a little more than he expected.

“He looked at me, we were just sitting on the couch and he said ‘I want to do a fundraiser in honor of her on her birthday’, and I’m like ‘Okay! Let’s brainstorm, let’s figure out what we want to do’,” said Marie Ehlert, Joe Posephny’s girlfriend. “He decided with the Menominee Animal Shelter he would start the fundraiser, started at $200, and then also started a group page where everyone could join in and you know, we could get the word out. We never thought it would do this.”

Along with the Facebook fundraiser, Joe donated all of the tips he collected on Betty’s birthday from his job at The Brother’s Three restaurant in Marinette.

“So he donated all of his tips yesterday which was a total of another $242, and then Brother’s Three matched another $200 on top of that. You don’t see people like this, you don’t hear about these stories every day anymore. So it definitely brought a lot of pride to him and me to see everyone come together in this,” said Elhert.

In total, Joe and his surrounding community raised $1,791 for the Menominee Animal Shelter. A private donor also donated a large pet food donation, which Joe and Marie will distribute to multiple animal shelters in their area.

“People have just been really supportive. Betty White was a great person and I think this is a way of honoring her so well,” said Nancy Holzberger, manager of Menominee Animal Shelter. “There isn’t anyone who has said anything bad about her everybody liked her stuff. She was a great person. I really hope we can continue to do this every year as a rememberance that you can be a good person, you can have no scandals, and people still remember you and love you. We can hope that we can do this every year it’s been great.”

“It’s been so positive just to see all of our friends, the community, everybody just pouring together to do something positive. I mean Betty was just one of those people that, you know, stood out to all of us and Joe is one of those people in our community who kind of stands out to everybody as well. There are tons of people, you could walk into an establishment and be like ‘Hey does anybody know him?’ You’re probably going to find somebody,” said Elhert.

The Menominee Animal Shelter is having a week-long special in honor of Betty White’s birthday.
All cats will have a reduced adoption fee of $17, and dogs will be $50. This includes the animals being up to date on age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipped, and spayed/neutered. The shelter’s hours this week are 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 12 p.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday.

Adoptable animals can be viewed on

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