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SoapFest, a unique Marco Island fundraising event for almost two decades, returns for its annual weekend festival featuring daytime celebrity actors and signature events that raise funds for several local children’s charities.

Tickets are now on sale for the 18th Annual Southwest Florida SoapFest Charity Weekend, May 26-29, hosted by the Marco Island Yacht Club.

“This year’s SoapFest beneficiaries include Camp Able, the Island Theater Company Kids Camp and other local children’s charities,” SoapFest founder Pat Berry said.

Camp Able provides a program for children with special needs and the three-week summer theatre camp teaches children aged 8-18 about all aspects of the theatre with an emphasis on props, costumes, lighting and sound.

“You don’t have to be a soap fan to have a great time and lend your support to the kids,” Berry said. “SoapFest is a great weekend that showcases Marco Island’s natural hospitality among white sandy beaches and the Gulf of Mexico to daytime drama actors and fans from around the world.”

Thirteen actors from daytime shows such as “General Hospital,” “The Young and the Restless” and “Guiding Light” are expected to attend, many for return visits.

“These actors generously donate their time and talents to raise money for our kids,” Berry said.

The three days of non-stop festivities include favorites such as the legendary “A Night of Stars,” “Cruisin’, Boozin’ and Schmoozin’ with the Stars,” “Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash,” and “VIP Farwell Brunch.”

Current list celebrities scheduled to appear include “General Hospital’s” Brytni Sarpy, Donnell Turner, Robert Palmer Watkins, Ryan Carnes and Hayle Erin; From “The Young and The Restless,” Kate Linder, Jeff Branson, Christian LeBlanc, Sean Carrigan and Robert Adamson; “Guiding Light’s” Tom Pelphrey; and Melissa Archer from “Days Of Our Lives” and “One Life To Live.”

SoapFest Charity Weekend kicks off with A Night of Stars, 7 p.m., Saturday, May 27; held at the Marco Island Yacht Club, located at the foot of the Jolley Bridge, at 1400 N. Collier Blvd.

This VIP event, catered by Chef Bob, will offer several opportunities for up close and personal time with the actors. Celebrity guests from today’s most popular daytime shows will join “old favorites,” and be available for autograph signings, photos, Q&A, and live auctions.

An added feature to A Night of Stars is “SoapFest Game Night.” You can win with a spot on one of the actors’ teams as they compete against each other.

A Night of Stars tickets (including dinner) cost $125 per person. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $200 and guarantees VIP seating with your favorite celebrity guest.

The fun continues on Sunday, May 28, aboard the Marco Island Princess yacht for the afternoon Cruisin’ Boozin’ & Schmoozin with the Stars, noon to 3 p.m., departing from Marco River Marina. The 3-hour boat ride is an opportunity to mix and mingle with your favorite soap celebrity, while sightseeing Marco Island’s coastal beauty as dolphins frolic in the water. Guests meet with actors for additional photographs and autographs. Auctions and raffles will be held for one-of-a-kind daytime drama memorabilia (signed scripts, iconic clothing, and jewelry, among others). Tickets limited to 130 and cost $130 per person including a luncheon buffet.

The annual Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash takes place at 9 o’clock until closing Sunday evening at Mango’s Dockside Bistro located at 760 N. Collier Blvd. This event features daytime actors singing favorite tunes while pouring drinks to raise money. Featuring DJ Jared. Tickets cost $75 per person.

SoapFest concludes on Monday, May 2 with a VIP Farewell Brunch. A very limited number of tickets available as seating is very limited.

Tickets for all events at theatreonmarco.com/soapfest or call 239-394-0080.

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