Los Angeles Zoo Receives Over $70K in Donations From Fans Honoring Betty White
White, who died Dec. 31 at age 99, was a lifelong animal advocate who spent decades working with rescue organizations, zoos, and nonprofits. One such group, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), shared Tuesday that they received $70,389 in donations on Monday, the day White would have turned 100.
The donations are linked to a viral campaign called the #BettyWhiteChallenge, which quickly spread on social media after White's death. The challenge encouraged people to donate to local animal shelters, rescues, and other animal welfare organizations on Jan. 17, White's birthday.
In a Tuesday press release, GLAZA shared that they received thousands in donations from various contributors, including The Walt Disney Company, which gave $25,000; and Pink's Hot dogs, which donated $3,000. They also were gifted the proceeds from Madame Tussauds Hollywood's Jan. 17 Betty White event.
According to the release, GLAZA received 1,731 donations, which came from 49 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and 11 countries. As of Tuesday, GLAZA had received over 2,000 donations in White's honor, reaching a total of $94,297.
"We are blown away by the number of donations we received yesterday as part of the #BettyWhiteChallenge," GLAZA President Tom Jacobson said in the Tuesday press release.
Jacobson continued, "Betty would be so thrilled to see the outpouring of support in her honor. We know so many worthy animal and wildlife organizations were greatly impacted by yesterday's challenge, and we know Betty is smiling."
"Betty is a true champion of animals in both life and death, and we look forward to honoring her legacy at the Los Angeles Zoo," he added.
While White never lived to see her activism inspire others through the #BettyWhiteChallenge, her executive personal assistant Kiersten Mikelas told PEOPLE the late comedian would have loved the viral challenge.
"She would be so touched to see and hear that people were honoring her by donating to local groups who work so hard to rescue and rehabilitate animals," Mikelas said. "I can't think of a better tribute."
White's friend and longtime agent Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE that the challenge reflects White's values.
"The outpouring of love, the amazing amount of donations being given to all types of animal organizations is such a tribute to how Betty lived her life," he said. "As Betty would say, 'Thank you from the bottom of my heart.' "
This story originally appeared on People.com.