Image: Warren Buffett signs Dairy Queen spoon
Business Wire via AP file
Dairy Queen President and CEO John Gainor holds a 33-inch, red Dairy Queen spoon for Warren Buffett to sign at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in May.
msnbc.com
updated 7/31/2010 12:04:39 PM ET 2010-07-31T16:04:39

What's an oversized Dairy Queen ice cream spoon worth? Apparently a lot, when it's signed by Warren Buffett.

A 33-inch, 5-pound red metal spoon bearing the signature of the billionaire investor fetched $4,500 for charity in an online auction on eBay that ended Friday. The auction, which began July 21, drew 61 bids.

The proceeds will go to Children’s Miracle Network, an organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals. The charitable group said it will give the money to Gillette Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, which also is the home of Dairy Queen.

The winning bidder wasn't identified.

Buffett's Omaha, Neb.-based holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., owns Dairy Queen.

The giant spoon was signed by Buffett when Dairy Queen's "Blizzardmobile" made a stop at the Dairy Queen booth during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in May.

Buffett's estimated net worth of $47 billion makes him the second-richest American behind Bill Gates ($53 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

Earlier this year, Buffett and Gates announced a campaign to get America's billionaires to pledge at least half their wealth to charity. Buffett has pledged to give 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropy.

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The principals behind the campaign have set up a website, givingpledge.org, explaining the effort.

“My hat’s off to Warren Buffett for continuing to have a philanthropic bent on life,” Coppy Holzman, co-founder and chief executive officer of charitybuzz.com, a website that runs auctions for nonprofit groups, told Bloomberg. “He’s an iconic figure in the industry. People follow what he does.”

Buffett’s annual charity-lunch auction in June raised a record $2.6 million to benefit the San Francisco-based Glide Foundation, which serves meals to the needy.

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