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2008 Soapfest: Soap fans meet their favorite celebs

Soapfest volunteer Mary Beth Kamper helps Walt Willey promote Soapfest t-shirts. Money raised from the weekend's events benefitted several children's charities.

Photo by AARON HALE, Special to the Eagle

Soapfest volunteer Mary Beth Kamper helps Walt Willey promote Soapfest t-shirts. Money raised from the weekend's events benefitted several children's charities.

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  • Actor Jon Prescott (yellow shirt) joins for a photo with a group of rabid soap fans. The fans were all brought together by a Web site, www.lukeandnoah.com. The fan website is dedicated to two gay characters from the television show 'As the World Turns.' One member of the fan club came from as far away as Lebanon, N.H.
  • Dinah Blalock from Tampa, center, and her friends talk with soap stars Marnie Schulenburg and Justine Cotsona of the show 'As the World Turns.' Blalock said it was 'exciting' to see her favorite soap actors.
  • Summer Rogers, 14, flirts with 'The Guiding Light' actor, John Driscoll. Summer and her mother, Kerri Kendall, were dauntless in their approach to meet their favorite daytime television soap actors.
  • 'The Guiding Light' star Caitlin Van Zandt signs autographs for Judy Denes and Ellen Duran of Homestead, Fla. Duran said she had been to the Southwest Florida Soapfest for eight years. She has been watching 'The Guiding Light' for 45 years. 'The Guiding Light' is why I have a VCR and DVD player,' said Duran. Denes said her mother listened to 'The Guiding Light' when it was a 15 minute radio show.
  • Dinah Blalock gets her picture taken with Justine Cotsona, who plays Sofie Duran on 'As the World Turns.'
  • Paulo Benedeti from 'The Guiding Light' prepares for a photo with fans.
  • Walt Willey from 'All My Children' played Master of Ceremony for the 'Night of Stars' event.
  • A fan club of the characters Noah and Luke from 'As the World Turns,' whom they collectively called 'Nuke,' made up the most enthusiastic table at Saturday night's 'Night of Stars' event.
  • Paintings from the 'Art for Autism' campaign, which paired soap stars and special needs children painting together, were up for auction throughout the Soapfest weekend.
  • Daytime Emmy nominee Trent Dawson shares a story with a fan at the 'Night of Stars' event on Saturday night.
  • Summer Rogers posing for a photo with Ewa da Cruz of 'As the World Turns.'
  • Soapfest volunteer Mary Beth Kamper helps Walt Willey promote Soapfest t-shirts. Money raised from the weekend's events benefitted several children's charities.
  • Laura Mosby relaxes as her daughter, Lindsey, plays with her hair. Mosby and her daughter are both avid watchers of 'The Guiding Light.' Lindsey, 10, chose to sit at a table with 'The Guiding Light' stars, Caitlin Van Zandt and Bonnie Dennison.
  • Michon Wise of Atlanta, Ga., snaps a photo of Van Hansis, who plays Luke on 'As the World Turns.'

The Southwest Florida Soapfest charity weekend kicked off Saturday at San Marco Parish Hall with 'Night of Stars.' For $100 a ticket, soap fans from across the state got to talk face-to-face with daytime television soap actors. For $150 a ticket, patrons snagged VIP seating to sit and dine with the star of their choice.

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