Exclusive! Samantha's Friends Charity Fundraiser & Gala! image

Martha Madison, Darin Brooks & Rachel Melvin (Days)

Kevin Spirtas, Patrika Darbo & Walt Willey

Bradenton, Florida - Once a year, several top soap actors gather for Samantha's Friends charity Fundraiser gala brunch and show and this year the event raised $20K to help young people challenged by a catastrophic illness, gain their independence with the assistance of a service canine. This Fundraiser is to benefit Kids and Canines, which is a service dog training program.

The event featured top soap actors Walt Willey from All My Children, Martha Madison (ex-Belle), Brandon Beemer (ex-Shawn), Jay Johnson (Philip), Rachel Melvin (Chelsea), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), Darin Brooks (Max) from Days of Our Lives, Kevin Spirtas and Patrika Darbo formally of Days of our Lives (ex- Dr. Craig Wesley and ex-Mrs. Nancy Wesley).
This event was held at the beautiful Lakewood Ranch Country Club, where Kevin Spirtas kicked off the luncheon by singing a couple songs which he introduced as “prayer-esc” tunes. The fundraisers also featured an auction, a fashion show, Irish dancers and a meet and greet session with the actors. Something definitely worth catching!

When I caught up with Kevin Spirtas and spoke with him about the event, he said, “I’m really glad to be here and be part of this event; this is an amazing event, and organization that helps a lot of people."

Eddie Perley, a Wall Street businessman, founded Samantha's Friends in 1996 as a fundraiser for Samantha Bozza who suffered a brain aneurysm caused by an arteriorvenus malformation when she was only 15 years old. After a close encounter with death and many years of rehabilitation, Samantha reaches out to help and inspire individuals in all walks of life with her kind, generous, enthusiastic spirit.

Along with Patrika Darbo, MC Walt Willey kept the crowd laughing with their comical wit and banter. The attendees also were thrilled to find more about this organization that they or their families and friends might have turned to in the past. So it was a two-way street with everyone benefiting!

“I am very happy to be involved with Samantha’s Friends, I’m happy to be here, everybody has been great and we are raising a lot of money”, said Brandon Beemer.

This was the kind of event and people who step outside of themselves with an active desire to be a conduit to a better life for someone else. Soaps.com has high respect for this charity. We encourage you to attend next year's function.

Be sure to check out all of our photos from the event at Soaps.com's Facebook!

Thomas Biggs