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On Oct. 8, nearly 1,000 soap opera fans descended on New York City's Marriott Marquis to get a glimpse and rub elbows with some of their favorite daytime television stars and in the process, helped children fighting cancer.
The meet and greet with fans was part of the 10th annual Daytime Television Salutes St. Jude Children's Research Hospital event. Emmy award-winning actress Martha Byrne (who plays Lily on As the World Turns) once again served as event host. The event raised more than $250,000 for St. Jude.
"Every single night, I go to bed with two healthy children. I kiss them good night and know that they're okay," Byrne said. "I can't imagine if they were ill. I'd be so distraught. And the fact that there's a hospital that exists that if a parent can't pay for a child's treatment, they don't have to. And the fact that an event like this can pay for that - that's why I do this."
Byrne started the event 10 years ago. Since then, the event has raised nearly $1 million for the hospital and has become one of daytime television's most popular events, second only to the Daytime Emmys. Nearly 100 stars joined Byrne at the event, including:
Along with meeting their favorite soap stars, fans were also able to bid on items such as a walk on role on As the World Turns or hard-bound scripts from television shows or even a trip to Walt Disney World in the live and silent auctions. Entertainment was provided by the band The Party Dolls.
This year's event was sponsored by JetBlue Airways, Toyota of Hackensack, Sol Rafael Dream Jewels, Shopbop.com, Noreen Axon-RMTS, LLC, JC Studios, MMB Productions and Procter & Gamble.
"For the 10th straight year, the fans of daytime television have demonstrated their caring for the children of St. Jude," said Richard C. Shadyac, chief executive officer for ALSAC, the hospital's fund-raising arm. "This event has continued to grow in the number of fans that come out, the number of celebrities who attend and in the amount of support and awareness that St. Jude receives. St. Jude is thrilled to count the fans and celebrities of daytime television among our supporters."
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