Bidding hot for chance at coffee with Apple chief

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - A coffee date with Apple chief Tim Cook was a hot opportunity on Wednesday as bidding quickly topped US$70,000 (S$87,000) for the chance being auctioned to raise money for a human rights group.

A bidder identified as rory.oneill3 at the Charitybuzz website seemed intent on taking the prize of being able to spend 30 minutes to an hour with Mr Cook over coffee in his office at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The high bid hit US$72,777 by 2.00pm (5.00am Singapore time).

The Cook lot at Charitybuzz was being offered to raise money for the Washington-based Robert F Kennedy (RFK) Center for Justice and Human Rights.

The coffee chat with Mr Cook was limited to two guests, who would be subject to security screening and be responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

"We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately," the legal terms of the offer explained. "Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must."

It was the first time that Mr Cook made his time available as part of the annual fundraising event.

"The RFK Center's annual auctions empower our human rights advocacy around the world, from courtrooms to classrooms, from Cambodia to California," said organisation president Kerry Kennedy.

"It's an honour to have so many stars from the worlds of business, media, entertainment and sports helping us carry forward Robert Kennedy's dream of a more just and peaceful world."

The centre is also raising money with other celebrity-laden offers, such as a lunch with famed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in California wine country, and time with actors Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Alec Baldwin, or William Shatner.

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