Invite These Young & Restless Stars Into Your Home For a Good Cause
A good time will definitely be had by all!
Years ago, it wasn’t at all uncommon for soap stars to do big, splashy public appearances — often at a mall — where they could have awesome, in-person interactions with their adoring fans. And while times have changed, our desire to get a little one-on-one time with our favorite daytime actors and actresses hasn’t diminished one bit. And if we can do that while also raising money for a fantastic charity? So much the better.
Well, fans will have the opportunity to do both as Kate Linder (Esther, The Young and the Restless) hosts the annual OpportuniTea. This year’s event will be live online on February 27, 2022, benefiting March of Dimes Canada. This year’s lineup features Linder’s costars Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael), Bryton James (Devon), Camryn Grimes (Mariah), Brytni Sarpy (Elena) and Cait Fairbanks (Tessa).
“I’m always so grateful to all the castmates that have joined me over the years,” enthuses Linder. “We have a good time, and we’re able to help so many people.”
Tickets for the event start at $50 for the main event, which will feature a question-and-answer session with the stars as well as an auction of unique Genoa City-related items. Guests can also purchase a VIP experience for $100 which includes a pre-show celebrating Linder’s 40th anniversary with the soap.
Those in the Toronto area can take things to the next level with the $150 OpportuniTea VIP Local offer, which includes not only the main and VIP events but also delivery of a basket of goodies.
All proceeds from the event go to support March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education program, an event near and dear to Linder’s heart. (In fact, she’s been an ambassador since 2012!) “It’s an amazing organization,” says Linder. “They’re able to help children and adults become productive members of society. I’ve been so blessed with everything I have in my life, and I love being able to give back.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Then visit the gallery below in which we relive some of Linder’s favorite moments from her iconic run on Young & Restless.
<p>“Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s real,” admits Kate Linder as she reflects on her long run as <em>The Young and the Restless’ </em>Esther. “Not bad for a part that was originally only supposed to last one day!” Not bad indeed, as evidenced by her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, which she received in 2008. </p>
<p>“Without them, none of this would have been possible,” says Linder of <em>Young & Restless’ </em>late co-creators, Bill Bell and his wife Lee Phillip Bell, here with Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla). “I loved them and miss them so much. Back in the day, they lived in Chicago, so it was a very big deal when they would come to the set!” </p>
<p>“Jeanne Cooper was the very first person I worked with,” reflects Linder of the late icon, who of course played Katherine Chancellor. “I walked up to her in the makeup room on that first day, introduced myself and said, ‘I’m going to be playing your maid today.’ She looked me up and down and said, as only Jeanne could, ‘Well, it’s about time!'” </p>
<p>For years, Esther was caught between Jill (Jess Walton) and Katherine as the lifelong rivals waged war upon one another. “Esther always took Katherine’s side,” says Linder. “Which isn’t surprising, given how disrespectful Jill was to poor Esther!” </p>
<p>“Some of my favorite memories involve running lines with Jess and Jeanne,” shares Linder. “We had such a great time laughing and finding new ways to make the wonderful scenes come to life.” </p>
<p>Over the years, the actress has become synonymous with charitable events, most notably the teas she hosts with the help of her castmates. “I’m forever grateful to them,” she says humbly. “I don’t think people realize this, but they don’t get paid to attend these events. They’ve helped raise countless amounts of money” for a variety of organizations, including The March of Dimes, the Los Angeles Mission and the ALS Association. To keep up with the latest events, check out her official website at <a href="http://www.katelinder.com/" target="_blank">KateLinder.com</a>.</p>
<p>“I love that at the charity events, people get to see some of our actors in a whole new light,” says Linder, here with Beth Maitland (Traci) and Bryton James (Devon). “He comes alive in front of a live audience, and they absolutely love him!” </p>
<p>Although rarely in the spotlight, Linder’s late husband Ron was, as she says, “always right there in the trenches with me every step of the way. This was truer than ever after she became the celebrity spokesperson for ALS soon after her brother-in-law was diagnosed with the disease. “I know Ron would want me to continue doing doing this. And I know that he’s still there, by my side.” </p>
<p>“I’m really proud of my mom, so I loved being able to take her to some of the charity or industry events,” admits Linder. “And she loves it!” Asked if she helped Mom select outfits for these occasions, the noted fashion plate says just the opposite is true. “I probably get my sense of style from her!” </p>
<p>After Cooper released her memoirs, Linder was thrilled to be among the cast who had the opportunity to join the author at book signings. “She always supported me,” says Linder. “After I joined the show, she was the first person to find out that I was still working as a stewardess. I swore her to secrecy, because I worried that people at the show wouldn’t take me seriously as an actress if they knew!” </p>
<p>In 2011, Linder exchanged Esther’s maid uniform for a more dazzling costume, jetted off to London and filmed the movie <em>Hysteria</em>. “It was a small part,<em>” </em>she demurs, “but I’m so glad I did it! I’ve tried to be the kind of person who doesn’t say no. Think of all the opportunities you miss by just saying that one word!” </p>
<p>“I’ve gotten to meet so many wonderful people over the years,” enthuses Linder, here with Carol Channing and Angela Lansbury. “I actually got to know Carol and her husband quite well, because they were very involved in efforts to bring arts back to the schools, which is so important. Without it, so many kids have no way to express themselves.” </p>
<p>“When they decided that Esther was going to have a baby, Bill Bell asked if I wanted it to be a boy or a girl,” shares Linder. “And that baby, Kate, grew up to be Elizabeth Hendrickson’s Chloe. She changed her name because she was embarrassed that her mom was a maid!” </p>
<p>Linder certainly approves of Chloe’s husband, not to mention his portrayer, Greg Rikaart. “He is one of the kindest, most caring people you will ever meet,” she says. “That makes it interesting whenever Kevin does something sort of shifty, because that’s so not in Greg’s personality!” </p>
<p>“Esther felt like it was her responsibility to protect everyone from Colin,” says Linder of Tristan Rogers’ wily alter ego. “Working with him is always so much fun. I miss him!” </p>
<p>“It’s always interesting when an actor people know from another show joins our cast,” says Linder, with Steve Burton (ex-Dylan; <em>General Hospital</em>‘s Jason). “I didn’t get to work with him too much, although Dylan would visit the coffee house while Esther was working there.” </p>
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