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Indiana shelter receives $80K in donations thanks to #BettyWhiteChallenge

Humane Fort Wayne was given a $10,000 matching donation that was quickly met. That's when another generous donor offered to match up to $25,000 in donations.
Credit: AP
Betty White poses with Uggie the dog from the film 'The Artist' as she arrives for her Friars Club Roast in New York, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An Indiana animal shelter is sending out a massive thank you to Hoosiers after something incredible happened on Monday, when shelters across the country were receiving donations as part of a challenge honoring the life and legacy of Betty White. 

White wasn't just known for her quick wit and comedic timing, she was also an outspoken advocate for animals of all kinds, winning her fans across generations. The #BettyWhiteChallenge, held on what would have been the actress's 100th birthday, encouraged everyone to donate $5 to their favorite animal-focused charity.

RELATED: A 'golden' opportunity to give back: Here's how you can honor Betty White locally

It was on this day that the community in northeast Indiana banded together to help Humane Fort Wayne in a big way.

The shelter posted on Monday morning that, thanks to a generous donor, it was matching up to $10,000 of donations. This goal was met by 3 p.m. — an accomplishment that could have easily marked the day as a colossal success.

Today we're participating in the viral #BettyWhiteChallenge, honoring the legacy of a truly amazing woman. And thanks to...

Posted by Humane Fort Wayne on Monday, January 17, 2022

But in an exciting twist, another donor decided to come forward with an additional $25,000 match. The catch? The shelter said it had a little more than seven hours to meet the match before the clock ran out at midnight. 

Friends, we have BIG news, and we need your help! Hopefully by now, you've seen that we're participating in today's...

Posted by Humane Fort Wayne on Monday, January 17, 2022

Not only did they meet this match, but they far surpassed it. By day's end, the shelter had raised a whopping $80,722. 

"To say we are humbled by your generosity is an understatement. And we couldn't be prouder to have been a small part of honoring the legacy of such an incredible woman," the shelter said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. 

As a way to thank everyone who donated, the shelter posted a video of staff serenading their Facebook followers while holding signs with Betty White's face on them. 

In the video they sing "thank you for being a friend," a line from the theme song for "The Golden Girls" show where White was a beloved main character. 

Betty White Challenge

‼BREAKING NEWS‼ We did it! Because of YOU, Humane Fort Wayne met every match and raised a total of $80,722 during yesterday's #BettyWhiteChallenge! To say we are humbled by your generosity is an understatement. And we couldn't be prouder to have been a small part of honoring the legacy of such an incredible woman. *Singing isn't our forte...but we couldn't resist serenading you!*

Posted by Humane Fort Wayne on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The shelter said it would use some of the money raised to make "desperately needed repairs/replacements" to its kennel gates.  

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