Warren Buffett is again auctioning a steak lunch to benefit a San Francisco charity, after last year's bidding failed to generate a record bid for the first time since 2004.
The 11th annual auction benefits the nonprofit Glide Foundation in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, which offers meals, health and child care, housing and job training for the poor.
Last year Salida Capital Corp, a Toronto-based wealth management firm, won the right to dine with the world's third-richest person with a $1,680,300 bid. That was below the record $2,110,100 bid in 2008 by Hong Kong-based investor Zhao Danyang.
Known for its lively Sunday morning services including gospel music, Glide said it has struggled with the nation's economic troubles, with donations falling nearly 20 percent.
The Rev. Cecil Williams, 80, who founded Glide and leads its affiliated church, said in an interview that Buffett's lunch covers about one-tenth of Glide's $17 million annual budget.
"Our lines for help are much longer this year than they've been in almost any year," Williams said. "We are so proud that we have not had to close the doors on people to say 'we have no more.' That's why Warren Buffett's dedication and commitment every year to Glide is so significant."
The auction will be held on eBay Inc's website from June 6 to June 11. The winner and up to seven others will dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York. Previous auctions have raised more than $5.9 million.
Buffett is the world's third-richest person, worth $47 billion according to Forbes magazine. He built his fortune through his Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(Read by Lee Hannon. Lee Hannon is a journalist at the China Daily Web site.) “股神”沃伦•巴菲特将再次拍卖慈善牛排午餐，为旧金山一家慈善机构筹集资金。去年，他的慈善午餐拍卖价自2004年以来首次未能创历史新高。 这将是巴菲特第11次拍卖慈善午餐，此次拍卖的受益方是旧金山田德隆区的非赢利机构格莱德基金会。该基金会主要为穷人提供食物、医疗、儿童保健、住房和就业培训服务等。 去年，总部位于多伦多的财富管理公司——赛利达资本集团以168.03万美元的价格中标，赢得与这位全球第三大富豪共进午餐的机会。该价格低于2008年香港投资商赵丹阳211.01万美元的中标价。 格莱德基金会称，由于美国经济陷入困境，其所收到的捐款减少了近20%。 格莱德基金会以其生动的早祷告礼闻名，仪式上还会播放福音音乐。该基金会的创始人、其所附属教堂的负责人、80岁的雷夫•塞西尔•威廉姆斯牧师在一次访谈中说，巴菲特午餐的收益占格莱德基金会1700万美元年度预算的约十分之一。 威廉姆斯说：“今年我们需要帮助的人超过以往任何一年。但让我们感到自豪的是，我们可以不将人们拒之门外，告诉他们‘我们已经没的可给了’。这就是为什么沃伦•巴菲特每年对格莱德的捐助如此重要的原因。” 这次拍卖将于6月6日到11日在易趣网上进行。中标者可偕同其他最多七个人与巴菲特在纽约的史密斯与沃伦斯基牛排馆共进午餐。往年巴菲特午餐所拍得的善款已超过590万美元。 据《福布斯》杂志统计，巴菲特是全球第三大富豪，个人资产达到470亿美元。他的财富主要来源于他总部位于内布拉斯加州奥马哈市的伯克希尔·哈撒韦保险与投资公司。
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