Golden Girl Lends Signature to Benefit Dogs, Other Animals

Emmy Award-winner Betty White will sign collectibles aboard Tennessee River cruises to raise money for the Morris Animal Foundation.

Best-known for her role as the naive Rose Nylund on the television series “The Golden Girls,” Betty White will join forces with a collectible company and autograph pet-themed holiday ornaments on two river cruises in an effort to raise money for a nonprofit animal foundation.

White will board the 100-foot yacht in Knoxville, Tenn., along with Joy to the World Collectibles Inc. representatives for cruises along the Tennessee River on Nov. 1 and 2, 2007. Tickets are available now, and sales will be capped at 100 tickets per cruise. Money raised will be donated to Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit that funds research projects benefiting companion animals as well as wildlife.

“We are very partial to raising money for Morris Animal Foundation, and Betty White has been so great to work with,” says Lisa Kelechava, founder and president of Joy to the World Collectibles Inc.

White will not be the only TV personality participating. Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald of the Animal Planet television show “Emergency Vets” will board the yacht for the Nov. 1 cruise. Both White and Fitzgerald will be available for conversation as well as pictures, Kelechava added.

In addition to ticket and ornament sales, a silent auction will be conducted to increase donations to the foundation.

“It’ll be a substantial amount,” Kelechava says of the expected donation. “We wanted to do something that would really get people’s attention.”

Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and cost $500 for the Nov. 1 cruise and $250 for the Nov. 2 cruise. To purchase tickets, call (865) 470-7148 or log on to the Joy to the World website.

-Heidi Hatch, Associate News Editor for

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