Warren Buffett to auction another charity lunch

Tue May 5, 2015 11:32am EDT
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(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has once again agreed to have lunch this year with the winner of an auction to benefit a San Francisco charity.

The 16th annual auction to benefit Glide, which provides food and services to the poor and homeless, will be held on eBay (EBAY.O: Quote) from May 31 to June 5, the charity said on Tuesday.

Past auctions have raised about $17.8 million, including a record $3,456,789 from an anonymous bidder in 2012. Last year's winner, Andy Chua of Singapore, bid $2,166,766.

Other winners have included hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, and Ted Weschler, now a portfolio manager at Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote). Weschler won two auctions, bidding $2,626,311 in 2010 and $2,626,411 in 2011.

As in past years, this year's winner and up to seven friends will have a private lunch with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.

The auctions began in 2000 after Buffett was introduced to Glide by his first wife, Susan, who died in 2004.

Glide was co-founded by the Rev. Cecil Williams, a community leader and longtime pastor at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

"Glide helped me understand just how much a life can be transformed by unconditional love and some real material help," Buffett said in a statement provided by Glide.

Buffett is worth about $71.8 billion, ranking third worldwide, Forbes magazine said on Tuesday. He has run Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire for 50 years.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett plays bridge during the Berkshire annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking