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Yahoo’s Mayer Auctions Lunch Meeting for School Donation

By Douglas MacMillan

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is auctioning a private lunch to raise money for a California school, following a bidding war for a similar opportunity in April to meet with Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook.

Mayer is donating proceeds of the auction to the Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School, according to fundraising website, which also handled Cook’s auction. After 18 bids for lunch with Mayer, the highest was at $57,500 as of 9:30 p.m. yesterday in New York, with 16 days remaining.

Auctions for meetings are becoming a popular way for business luminaries to raise money for charities. Cook’s meeting over coffee eventually fetched $610,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights after 86 bids, according to press reports. An auction on EBay Inc. for lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett sold for about $1 million last week, with proceeds going to the Glide Foundation.

The lunch with Mayer, who became CEO almost a year ago, will take place at Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, according to the auction site. Mayer serves on the boards of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet.

While Cook allowed the winner of his coffee meeting to bring a guest, the lunch with Mayer is only for one person, who will be allowed to take a picture with her. Travel and accommodations aren’t included.

The Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School is one of 34 public schools run by Aspire Public Schools, founded in 1998 to prepare low-income students for college.

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