Update (12/29, 11:15 a.m.): This beast has now raised $7,115 from 630 donors.
Original story (12/18, 2:45 p.m.): Not long after Tuesday's news of Carrie Fisher's tragic death at age 60, Betty White, turning 95 in January, started trending on social media. Not because she was dead, but because people are begging the fates not to add another name to the long list of truly beloved celebrities we've lost this year.
Also, there is a GoFundMe page titled "Help protect Betty White from 2016." Launched yesterday by South Carolina's Demetrios Hrysikos, the campaign has secured, as of this publication, $3,050 of its original $2,000 goal. More than 290 people have donated in less than 24 hours.
Ridiculous, right? Well, no. Read Hrysikos' original description, and pay attention after the second sentence:
"Help 2016 catch these hands if it goes anywhere near Betty White! If she's okay with it I will fly to where ever Betty White is and keep her safe till Jan. 1, 2017. Now, assuming she doesn't want a strange Greek standing gaurd [sic] outside her door all monies will be donated to the Spartanburg little theater to help craft new stars of stage and screen to carry mantle of the legends that have left is this year."
Okay, that's actually a really special way to note that we're losing talented, important performers at a horrible rate, and that we can do something positive about it by nurturing new generations of artists.
In an update, Hrysikos says he "had no idea this would go so far but I'm happy it did." His goal was "to try and put a smile back on some people [sic] faces and do some good!" He also explained his choice of Spartanburg Little Theatre:
"Other than liking to support our local arts and having a friend who works at the little theater I don't have any connection to it, I just thought it would be a good place for any money made to go. 2016 has taken so many great artists and SLT helps support and nurture new budding talent in our town. I'd like to think that Betty, Carrie, and Bowie would be happy with any proceeds going to that cause, which I assure you it WILL!"
So yeah...please chill out, 2016. We already smashed a piñata in our office while airing out all our grievances with you.