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Here’s how to help with coronavirus relief by dining with Bill Walton

Former UCLA star basketball player Bill Walton cheers on the Bruins as they play Florida in the 2006 NCAA title game in Indianapolis.
Former UCLA star basketball player Bill Walton cheers on the Bruins as they play Florida in the 2006 NCAA title game in Indianapolis.
(Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Hey, you’ve always wanted to have lunch with UCLA legend Bill Walton, right?

And three of your friends have always wanted the same thing? Perfect!

All four of you are in luck. Or at least you will be as soon as we’re all done social distancing.

You’ll also need a minimum $7,500 among the four of you.

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Sure, it might be a little pricey, but it’s for a good cause. A lunch for four with Walton in San Diego is one of 36 items up for bid in CollectibleXchange’s COVID-19 charity auction, with net proceeds going to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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The opportunity to dine with Walton has the highest starting bid by far. A chance for two New York Yankees fans to meet and greet legendary closer Mariano Rivera is starting at $1,500, with three bids at that amount or more as of Tuesday.

A minimum $750 could land lucky bidders a meet-and-greet with former New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, ex-Giants linebacker Harry Carson or Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar. The same starting bid could result in a 16-person suite at a New Jersey Devils game with an appearance by Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

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An Alabama jersey autographed by Tua Tagovailoa started at $250, but its current bid is double that amount.

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On the other end of the financial spectrum, autographed books by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and high performance coach Dana Cavalea start at $50, an autographed photo of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz at $75 and a Chicago Bears jersey autographed by Dick Butkus or a Philadelphia Eagles football autographed by Ron Jaworski at $100.

Bidding ends May 3.

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Numerous other athletes have donated autographed items to Athletes For COVID-19 Relief, an effort to raise money for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It’s a twist on the traditional auction — anyone who “bids” $25 or more on an item is entered into a random drawing to win that item.

Here’s some of the items up for grabs and how much money they’ve raised so far:

— U.S. soccer star Rose Lavelle, signed jersey ($7,582 raised so far);

— Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, autographed hat and glove ($5,075);

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— Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, signed jersey ($4,319);

— Skateboarder Tony Hawk, autographed skateboard ($3,645);

— Semi-retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., signed gloves ($3,054).

Also, the Pittsburgh Penguins raised $20,000 for coronavirus relief efforts by auctioning off green jerseys that were supposed to have been worn during warmups on St. Patrick’s Day. The NHL suspended its season because of the outbreak five days before the holiday.


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