Even before the COVID pandemic resulted in shutdowns, set tours on soap operas were becoming more rare. Now, Kate Linder is telling Soap Hub how two lucky fans of The Young and the Restless can visit the show’s studio, which is located in Los Angeles, California, and help a worthy cause at the same time.
Kate Linder – An “OpportuniTea” to Visit Y&R
For many years, Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) has partnered with the March of Dimes Canada (MODC) for fan gatherings in Canada. Proceeds from the charity event/soap opera “meet and greet” benefit the MODC’s Conducive Education program. This year’s gathering (click here for tickets), set for Sunday, June 4, is bittersweet in that it will be the last one Linder does with the March of Dimes.
However, the gala, which will continue with another partnership, is going out in style — fans who attend will be able to bid on auction items but one in particular is a Y&R fan’s dream come true. It’s a trip to Los Angeles that includes a set visit to Y&R.
In addition to Linder, celebrity attendees include Christian Le Blanc (Michael), Cait Fairbanks (Tessa), Camryn Grimes (Mariah), Bryton James (Devon), and Brytni Sarpy (Elena) along with Carolyn MacKenzie, host of The Morning Show on Global.
“OpportuniTea” for Two
“We have a whole Q&A session and auction items,” Linder says. “I’m so grateful to my fellow cast members who are coming with me. They do this for me, for the charity, and to help and give back. They care about the show, the fans, and the charity. It’s a win/win.”
Linder and Le Blanc do the live auction for the Y&R set visit together. “Christian has a painting he’s going to be auctioning off,” Linder adds. “That’s live as well. We do an autograph session at the end so we get to see everyone. I’m excited about it. It’s going to be very good.”
The teas started about 25 years ago after Robin Wyss, executive director, Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association, observed the immense popularity of Y&R stars in Canada through Linder. She pointed out to Wyss that soap opera star wattage could help shine a light on charities including the March of Dimes. “[Robin] asked me what I’d do and I said I’d have a really classy event, a High Tea,” Linder says. “He said, ‘You’re on!'”
Kate Linder Previews New Partnership
This is the first OpportuniTea since the pandemic. “We’ve had a few virtual events but this is the first in-person one,” Linder says. Generally, what do fans of Y&R tell her when they see Linder? “Most will say I’ve been watching Y&R for years,” she says. “Mothers with grown daughters will come up to me and say they’ve been watching since their daughters were babies. What’s wonderful is I’ve seen the same people come year after year and I get to know them. That’s fabulous.”
While Linder’s OpportuniTeas will be announcing a new charity partnership at the gathering, the actress says she’s witnessed firsthand how beneficial teaming up with the March of Dimes has been. “I’ve seen how the programs work and where the money goes,” she says. “I’m honored to have been a part of it. I really want to thank them for all their hard work.”