Interview!

Giving Back With Kate Linder

Credit: Getty

Just Cause: Canucks for Kids Fund, www.nhl.com/canucks/community/canucksforkids

You’ve been hosting charity teas in British Columbia, Canada, for 20 years now. How did it all begin? “Robin Wyss is my partner in all of this, and I had been doing charity events, like golf tournaments, for him in Canada. One morning, I was having breakfast with him and there were also these amazing hockey players there, but people kept coming up to me, saying, ‘Esther! Esther!’ Robin was shocked because no one was approaching the hockey players. I told him that YOUNG AND RESTLESS is hugely popular in Canada and that he should do some kind of charity event with the show because it would be very successful. He asked me, ‘If this was going to be your event, what would it be?’ Off the top of my head, I said, ‘I would have a very classy high tea because my character is always serving tea,’ and Robin loved it. The first tea we actually did was at The Empress Hotel in Victoria, then we started doing another one in Vancouver.”

Why did you decide on this charity? “The Vancouver Canucks are a hockey team and they’re always raising money that goes to kids with cancer and autism and the children’s hospital. That makes me very happy because children are our future.”
Does Y&R get involved with your event? “The show is very supportive. They’ll give me Y&R merchandise as well as wardrobe pieces worn on the set of whichever actors are appearing. We have hair and makeup people there, so we auction off a makeover that’s done during the tea and we also auction off scripts that have been signed by everyone on the show, so it’s like the whole cast is involved. The biggest item every year is a tour of the studio, which includes airfare, hotel and a tour of the set with me. That usually goes for thousands. This year, we raised $16,000 on the tour alone. There were two parties bidding against each other, so when it got to $8,000, I said, ‘Okay, you’re both going!’ They were so thrilled.”

It sounds like people get a lot more out of your events than sipping tea. “I want everyone to feel entertained and not have one boring moment. I think that’s why a lot of the same people come back every year — I have different actors each time, so the tea doesn’t feel like the one before. The one actor who comes every year is Christian [J. LeBlanc, Michael] because he always serves as the emcee. I couldn’t do this event without him. He does such a fantastic job interacting with the audience and announcing at the auction. After the tea, we stay for pictures and autographs and we don’t stop until the last person has left.”

 

Comments