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Local woman donates over 1,200 cans of cat food as part of Betty White Challenge

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A local woman who set out to raise cat food for the Regina Humane Society as part of the Betty White Challenge donated over 1,200 cans to the organization on Thursday.

In 2022, Bernadette Ripplinger took part in the first Betty White Challenge. The prompt was to donate to local animal shelters in the name of Betty White on what would have been her 100th birthday after her passing in late 2021.

Ripplinger did so again this year, with the goal of collecting 101 cans of cat food to mark White’s 101st birthday. After putting the word out on social media, dozens of people stepped in to help her well surpass her goal.

“People are so helpful,” Ripplinger said. “I do like helping out when I can. It makes me feel good.”

Ripplinger said she had nearly 40 people, many of them complete strangers, reach out to her to give cash donations so she could buy more food.

The cart full of boxes totalled over $600 dollars worth of food.

“Every time I got an e-transfer, I would run to the store to buy the amount, bring it home and set it up in the living room. Another e-transfer, back to the store,” she said. “I think Wal-Mart and all the other stores thought I had a hoard of cats somewhere.”

The Humane Society said people like Ripplinger are so important to them, to keep animals in their care fed.

“Canned cat food is one of the things we are always most in need of,” said Bill Thorn, director of marketing and public relations. “For her to come through like this is just incredible. We can feed cats for days and days, probably weeks. We have a lot of tummies to fill and this is going to go a long way to help us do that.”

Ripplinger credited the people of Regina for her success in this year’s challenge.

“We have an amazing community that would step up and help,” she said. “I don’t know these people and they trusted me enough to send me money to buy cat food for The Humane Society and help them out.”

She plans to take on the Betty White Challenge again in 2024.

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