Apple's Eddy Cue takes cue from boss, auctions off lunch date for charity

Top bid so far, $11,500, will go to middle-school student program that awards free tickets to NCAA basketball games

Apple's chief of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, has taken a cue from his boss and put himself up on the charity auction block.

Apple's Internet honcho Eddy Cue is auctioning a lunch date and MacBook Air to raise money for a literacy-reward program sponsored by college basketball coaches. (Image: Apple.)

Cue, a 25-year veteran of Apple, offered a lunch date on the firm's Cupertino, Calif. campus and threw in a 13-in. MacBook Air -- which lists for $1,199 -- on the CharityBuzz.com website. As of 3:30 p.m. ET, (12:30 p.m. PT), Cue's auction had reached $11,500, higher than the expected outcome of $10,000.

The auction closes on Wednesday at 5:20 p.m. ET (2:20 p.m. PT).

Apple CEO Tim Cook has auctioned off face time on CharityBuzz twice before, most recently this spring when a lunch date raised $330,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2013, Cook pulled in $610,000 for the RFK Center when he offered a coffee klatch to the winning bidder.

Cue's auction results will be donated to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation, the charitable and educational arm of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), which represents U.S. college-level coaches. The foundation's chief beneficiary is "Ticket to Reading Rewards" (TTRR), a literacy reward program that provides tickets to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) basketball games to middle schoolers who read books outside the classroom.

TTRR runs in about 150 schools in the U.S., according to the program's website.

Cue was joined in the charity auction by a number of notable NCAA coaches, including Roy Williams of the University of North Carolina, Bill Self of the University of Kansas, Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University. Cue's current $11,500 was $500 higher than those four coaches' combined bids.

Both Cue and his boss, Cook, have a connection to Krzyzewski, who has coached the men's team at Duke since 1980. According to his LinkedIn profile, Cue earned his degree in computer science and economics at Duke in 1986. Cook also went to Duke, where he received his M.B.A.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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