The president of the Village of Oak Park, Vicki Scaman, tells TMZ ... despite moving to California as an infant, OP residents have been grateful that over the course of her life Betty spoke very highly of Oak Park. She continued to visit relatives there years after heading west.
We're told that since she passed away, folks in Oak Park have been vocal about wanting to honor Betty, and that surely will be happening now. A few days before Betty's birthday, Village Prez Scaman will read a proclamation for "Betty White Day" during a memorial for community members in Oak Park.
For Betty's special day, the Oak Park small business community is banding together to offer discounts to customers and "Betty White specials." For example, Mickey's Restaurant will be offering a special consisting of a hotdog, fries, and diet coke -- one of Betty's favorite meals, and Turano Bakery is planning to make a giant birthday cake. Scaman tells us cutouts of Betty will cover walls in the downtown area.
The celebration will continue with a Betty White mural contest, in which the winning mural will be painted downtown. And, there's a bonus ... most everyone in town will already be off from work as BWD happens to fall on a national holiday -- MLK Jr. Day -- this year.
TMZ broke the story ... Betty died on New Year's Eve at 99, apparently of natural causes. And now, her legacy will live on in Oak Park, which plans to make BWD an annual event.