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Warren Buffett's charity lunch auction fetches over $2M

In Warren Buffett's annual charity lunch auction for Glide Memorial Church the winner bid $2.1 million.
Andy Chua from Singapore has won the chance to sit down for a private lunch with legendary investor Warren Buffett. It happens every year on eBay and this year the highest bid was $2,166,766. All of the proceeds will go help San Francisco's Glide Memorial and its many programs.

The auction has helped raise $15 million for Glide since 2000.

Rev. Cecil Williams and his wife, Glide founding president Janice Mirikitani, remember the first time Buffett set foot in Glide Memorial. It was Buffett's late wife, Susan, who was a member of that church.

"Warren Buffett came in, I recall, khakis. Khaki pants and a t-shirt and all of a sudden here I am meeting the man. I was taken aback a little bit, shocked a little bit," Williams said.

It was Buffett who came up with the idea of doing something himself to help raise money for the many programs Glide has to offer. So 15 years ago he started an auction, inviting the highest bidder out for lunch.

Janice remembers the first auction which yielded only $25,000. Now, with the help of eBay and all the publicity, they get upwards of $1 million. One year someone bid $3 million.

"Those last couple of minutes it's just like... you can barely stay in your skin," Mirikitani said.

On the promotional eBay site, Buffett says why Glide is so close to his heart. He says, "It's changed thousands and thousands of lives and it has not only changed the lives of the people that are the beneficiaries of their actions, it has changed the lives of the people who participate with them."

"He's really down to earth and he's a real human being," Mirikitani said.

Glide has 30 community programs. All the money from the charity power lunch with Buffett goes to help feed people, house the homeless, children and maintain programs to prevent violence.

"We have to raise $17 million each year, each year, that's a pretty big budget," Williams said.

This year's winner will be able to invite seven of their friends to join them.
Related Topics:
business homeless glide memorial church fundraiser ebay warren buffett poverty hunger food charities San Francisco
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