Kate LinderAfternoon Charity Tea with Kate Linder & Friends

I feel very fortunate to make a living doing what I love to do. My parents hoped that I’d grow out of my dream of becoming an actress, but I never did. My dream came true 32 years ago, when I landed the role of Esther Valentine on CBS’s The Young and the Restless. As the housekeeper and confidante to the late Mrs. Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), Esther’s character inspired me to take serving tea to a new level.

Playing Esther for so many years has resulted in all sorts of fan mail, but one letter I’ll never forget came from a woman whose sister was really ill, asking me to send her a signed photo for her birthday. I looked up her phone number, called and said “This is ‘Esther,’ I just wanted to call and say Happy Birthday.” We talked for a while, and she got better, but eventually she passed away. I thought if I could do something to make someone feel better for one second, how could I not do that?

My passion outside of work is philanthropy. Inspired in part by that first phone call to a fan, I’m involved in many amazing causes, but one that’s near and dear to my heart, and that of Esther’s, is hosting my Afternoon Charity Teas. The teas take place throughout the US and Canada and benefit several different charitable organizations.

This year my charity team joined the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon in their efforts to change cancer forever. Why? Because I don’t think you can find anyone who doesn’t have a connection to cancer. My husband of many years had prostate cancer, my mother-in-law had breast cancer… but I know there’s a way to fix this.

We’ve designated the funds raised to ovarian and breast cancer research, and have committed to reach $90,000 over the next three years. The Vancouver Tea will take place on July 19 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and you’re invited! If you come, you’ll get the chance to visit with me and some of my The Young and the Restless co-stars, bid on some fabulous auction items and enjoy an afternoon of tea and treats in a fabulous setting. And thanks to the amazing The Young and Restless hair and make-up experts, Patti Denny and George Guzman, one fan will win a makeover so they will get the same skilled magic makers that the actors on our show are lucky enough to work with daily.

If everyone in the whole world would just give a teeny bit – just a dollar – just think what would happen. Let’s make this world better for everyone.