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Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Bidding on lunch with Buffett

Bidding will begin tonight on the chance to have lunch with local philanthropist Doris Buffett, who has offered to dine with the highest bidder to raise money for Fredericksburg Counseling Services.

The website eBay.com will facilitate the bidding from tonight until Feb. 10 at 10:15 p.m., said Catherine Jennings, Fredericksburg Counseling’s board president.

The end of the auction will coincide with the end of the agency’s annual fundraising gala, which will be held Feb. 10 at 8 p.m., at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House & Conference Center. Tickets to that event, which features music and dancing, are $50 per person.

People who attend the gala can bid on lunch with Buffett using their own mobile devices, and a few computers likely will be available to facilitate bidding at the event, Jennings said. But attendance at the gala isn’t necessary to bid on lunch with Buffett; the only must is an eBay account, she said. Bidding will begin at $200, Jennings said.

Fredericksburg Counseling Services has been aiming to raise as much money as possible since Buffett, of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, said last year that if the agency raised at least $50,000, she would match the amount raised, dollar for dollar. So far, Jennings said, the group has raised roughly $75,000. She’s hoping to maximize the opportunity to secure the agency’s finances and enable it to serve as many people as possible.

Fredericksburg Counseling Services is a free mental health clinic providing individual and group counseling to poor, uninsured residents of the Fredericksburg region. Three part-time staff members help run the clinic and oversee the work of more than a dozen student interns. The clinic provides free mental health care to about 100 clients each week.

Jennings said the agency will put a link to the auction site on its own website, fcsagency.org. Or, people can simply go to ebay.com.

As a side note, Buffett’s brother, Warren Buffett, has for several years had lunch with the top bidder in an auction that raises money for the San Francisco-based Glide Foundation, which helps the poor. Last year’s top bidder paid more than $2.6 million for the pleasure of dining with one of the world’s wealthiest men, according to news reports.

For more information about Fredericksburg Counseling Services, its auction or its fundraising gala, call 540/373-2320 or visit fcsagency.org.

 

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