VIENNA — As episodes of “The Golden Girls” hit the big screen, more than 100 people attending a fundraiser on Wednesday for the Trumbull County Animal Welfare League had the chance to play bingo, to enjoy cheesecake and celebrate what would have been actress Betty White. 100th anniversary.
The event was scheduled for Monday – the beloved TV star’s birthday – but was postponed due to the snow storm.
Cut-out statues of “The Golden Girls” plaster and paddles with White’s face on them were all part of the festivities held at the AWL building.
Lori Shandor, CEO of the AWL, said that although White passed away on New Year’s Eve, her dedication to helping animals during her lifetime was worth celebrating while helping the dogs and cats at the shelter.
“We called it ‘Bingo with Betty’ in honor of her life and what would have been her 100th birthday. We played bingo, and if you have bingo, you nod Betty’s head on the paddle” , said Shandor.
She said while various food items were available, the highlight was a slice of cheesecake – a favorite of “The Golden Girls” characters.
“Betty White has often been quoted about how important animals are to her and how helping animals was her true passion. She has been an animal activist all her life,” said Shandor.
The event was co-hosted by the AWL and BGMG Marketing, and was attended by over 100 people, with all proceeds going to animal care.
There was also a chance to bid on auction items, select prizes for bingo rounds, and watch dogs and cats at the shelter.
Bergen Giordani of BGMG Marketing said it made sense to hold a fundraiser for the shelter on White’s birthday.
“We have Betty White themed prizes,” she said.
Shandor said the nationwide Betty White Challenge asked people to donate to animal shelters in honor of her birthday and raised $6,000.
“If she were alive to see this movement created around her legacy and her life, she would be so surprised and blown away. She always seemed so humble. said Shandor.
Giordani said she watched White on the TV show “Hot in Cleveland” while Shandor watched her “The Golden Girls.”
“Watching her on different TV shows, you knew you were going to have a good laugh at what her character would say or do,” said Heidi Beach of Niles.
Warren’s Michele Watson said: “I loved ‘The Golden Girls.’ It was always fun to watch.Betty was a wonderful woman.
Tina Austrino of New Middletown said she also cares about animals and loves that White enjoys helping animals.