Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Humanitarian of the Week: Betty White

Betty White in one of her first TV appearances.
2010 has been “The Year of Betty White.” She’s everywhere. Her career in television is legendary, spanning over sixty years. She’s an icon. The sudden resurgence of appreciation for the eighty-eight year old comedienne is long overdue.

With all the hubbub about White this year, one fact is often overlooked. For over forty years, Betty White has enthusiastically worked as an advocate for the health and well-being of animals. Her love of animals and her desire to protect and help them has led her to work with the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, the Morris Animal Foundation (an organization dedicated to advancing animal health and well-being), and Actors & Others for Animals. Named President Emerita of the Morris Animal Foundation in 2009, Miss White’s contributions are not in name only. She gives of her time, her energy, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensuring the care of both domestic and wild animals.

Betty White today, courtesy JPI Studios
Joy to the World,” a maker of glass Christmas ornaments, donates a portion of their proceeds to The Morris Foundation. To help raise awareness, Betty White has been known to travel throughout the United States to autograph these attractive ornaments. It was at one such event that my parents had the opportunity to meet Betty White. Miss White was extremely kind and friendly. She listened with interest as my mother and father spoke of their “grand-dog” and how he likes to sit and watch The Golden Girls. Miss White signed the paw of a Westie ornament, and when shown a picture of Bertie, she exclaimed that he was a very handsome boy. Miss White asked if Bertie would like her to sign his picture. My parents said that he would like that. That year, Bertie received a very special Christmas present. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that he is the only dog in my town (perhaps in the state) who has a picture of himself signed by Betty White.

Those are the moments that define a person—those sweet, personable moments. For that, and for her tremendous work in giving all animals a quality of life, Betty White is our Humanitarian of the Week.

To Bertie.  Love, Betty White.


Fran said...

God bless her. I should have as much energy. I don't even have a Betty White autograph, but your dog does. How is this justice? Oh, you know I'm kidddding. ; )

Joseph said...

To be fair, I don't have one either, Fran. Perhaps your dog could get one, too.

On My Soapbox said...

What a sweet story!

Joseph said...

Thank you, "On My Soapbox." It really was kind of Miss White to ask to sign Bertie's photo. We were very surprised by my parents' gift to us.