Although she lived the majority of her life in the public eye, Betty White will get some privacy when she’s laid to rest at her upcoming funeral. “The arrangements are being handled privately and that was Betty’s wish,” the TV icon’s agent, Jeff Witjas, said in a statement to US Weekly on Jan. 5, four days after Betty passed away at age 99. “As in life, she never wanted people to make a fuss over her,” Jeff added.
Sadly, that means Betty’s die-hard fans cannot attend her funeral services and pay their respects to The First Lady of Television. However, as Jeff revealed to US Weekly, there are still ways that fans can honor Betty in the wake of her passing.
Jeff suggested that fans donate to the organizations and causes that were near and dear to Betty’s heart while she was alive. Betty was a passionate animal advocate, so The Los Angeles Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wildlife Learning Center, Actors and Animals for Others, The Aquarium of the Pacific, and Guide Dogs For the Blind are just some of the organizations that fans can give back to in her memory. Betty was also involved in Tree People, an environmental advocacy group that supports the Southern California ecosystem.
Fans have already started honoring Betty through advocacy donations. In fact, the #BettyWhiteChallenge has trended on Twitter in the days following the actress’s death. The challenge involves fans donating to any animal shelter, rescue or agency of their choice before or on January 17, which is Betty’s milestone 100th birthday. That same day, the Betty White: A Celebration movie special will screen in 900 movie theaters nationwide, as a tribute to the beloved star.
Betty was a beloved member of a bygone era in Hollywood. She earned five Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe nominations throughout her decades-long career, thanks in part to her iconic roles in The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Hot In Cleveland. Many of Betty’s famous friends paid tribute after her death, including Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Henry Winkler, and Ellen DeGeneres.