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Auction for Warren Buffett charity lunch starts slow
2016年6月6日 / 下午4点51分 / 1 年前

Auction for Warren Buffett charity lunch starts slow

By Jonathan Stempel
    June 6 (Reuters) - The annual charity auction for a private
lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett is underway.
    The top bid to dine with the chairman of the conglomerate
Berkshire Hathaway Inc was $200,100 at 12 p.m. EDT
(1600 GMT) on Monday, but will likely surge by the time the
auction on eBay ends on Friday night.
    Winning bids have reached seven figures every year since
2008, with the record $3,456,789 offer submitted anonymously in
2012. Last year's winner paid $2,345,678.
    Auction proceeds go to Glide, a charity in San Francisco's
Tenderloin district that provides food, health care and other
services to people who are homeless, poor or struggling with
substance abuse. Buffett has raised about $20.2 million in 16
auctions for Glide.
    "Mr. Buffett has been just one of the most important people
in our work," Rev. Cecil Williams, 86, Glide's co-founder and a
pastor at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, told Reuters.
"If people didn't respond to places like Glide, we would be in
serious trouble in urban America."
    Buffett, 85, is the world's third richest person, worth
$66.8 billion, Forbes magazine said on Monday. He is donating
virtually all of his wealth to charity.
    The auction was created by Buffett's first wife, Susan, and
continued after her 2004 death. It began on Sunday night, and
will end at 10:30 p.m. EDT Friday (0230 GMT Saturday).
    The winner and up to seven friends can dine with Buffett at
the Smith & Wollensky steak house in Manhattan.
    Past winners have included David Einhorn, the Greenlight
Capital hedge fund manager, and Ted Weschler, now a portfolio
manager at Berkshire.
    Bids for the private lunch have stayed high even as
Buffett's visibility has grown over the years, including the
first-ever webcast of Berkshire's annual meeting in April.
    With a $17 million budget, Glide provides an estimated
750,000 free meals, 815,000 syringes, emergency shelter for
8,700 people, and day care and afterschool programs for 450
children each year.
    "I am proud to be part of something that has directly
benefited so many people in need," Buffett said in a statement.
    Williams said Buffett talks with him a few times a year,
about Glide and whatever else is on their minds. "It is a
relationship that we have," Williams said. "He's very jovial,
open and a lot of fun, but he's also very serious."
    
    According to Glide, the following are the winning bids in
past auctions:
    2000: Pete Budlong, $25,000
    2001: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $20,000
    2002: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $25,000
    2003: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, $250,100
    2004: Jason Choo, Singapore, $202,100
    2005: Anonymous, $351,100
    2006: Yongping Duan, California, $620,100
    2007: Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier, Harina Kapoor, $650,100
    2008: Zhao Danyang, Pure Heart Asset Management, China,
$2,110,100
    2009: Courtenay Wolfe, Salida Capital, Canada, $1,680,300
    2010: Ted Weschler, $2,626,311
    2011: Ted Weschler, $2,626,411
    2012: Anonymous, $3,456,789
    2013: Anonymous, $1,000,100
    2014: Andy Chua, Singapore, $2,166,766
    2015: Zhu Ye, Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, China,
$2,345,678

 (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

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