Filed under: Big Givers
The lunch is up for bid on eBay until June 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm PDT. As usual Buffett will dine with the winning bidder and up to seven friends at Smith & Wollensky in New York. All bidders must pre-qualify and the opening bid is $25,000. Last year the auction brought in $1.68 million and Buffett has made as much as $2.1 million for Glide with this annual offer. The Wall Street Journal reports that past auctions have raised about $6 million in total for the foundation. On June 11 the last hour of bidding will be broadcast on a screen for the crowd at a fundraising dinner for the organization.
It's not quite as good as last year's $2.1 million but the Glide Foundation is still excited by the $1.68 million brought in by this year's charity auction to have lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett. The total is the second highest result for the annual auction. The Glide Foundation provides social services to San Francisco's homeless and poor. Buffett's late wife Susan was once a volunteer for Glide and Buffet's lunches have now raised more than $5.92 million for the charity since the auctions began in 2000. Last year's winner recently enjoyed his $2.1 million lunch with the Oracle of Omaha in New York City. This year's winner has decided to remain anonymous for the time being.
Why pay so much money for lunch with Buffett? The winner gets more than just a meet and greet with the billionaire. Mohnish Pabrai who won the 2007 auction for $650,100 told Bloomberg that both Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger "have been very gracious with access since the lunch." He has had two meetings with them since his lunch last June. The 2006 winner, Yongping Duan, who paid $620,100 for his lunch has said that he is always invited to the Sunday brunch that follows Berkshire Hathaway's popular annual shareholder meeting.
The 2008 winner Zhao Danyang of Hong Kong, brought his wife, son and friends for lunch with Buffett last week at Smith & Wollensky in New York City. Buffet already said after the lunch that he will see more of last week's winners. Zhao said of the lunch that the experience "can't be measured by money." Sounds like another satisfied customer.