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Friday, March 29, 2002

Ottawa executives' time means money for charity in online auction

By GEOFF MATTHEWS, Ottawa Sun

Ever yearned to play a round of golf with JDS Uniphase CEO Jozef Straus? Or maybe take in a National Arts Centre performance with Antoine Paquin?

Now's the chance to grab a few hours with one of them or about 20 other local executives and media personalities in an online auction which will benefit more than a dozen charities.

Event organizer John Ernst said the executives choose how they'll spend time with winning bidders, but are flexible enough to accommodate buyers' schedules and interests.

It's the third year the auction has been held, and Ernst said organizers are hoping to top the all-time high bid of $1,625 for a round of golf with World Heart CEO and Senators owner Rod Bryden.

In the past, the charity event has turned over all proceeds to support the fight against fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, but it was decided this year to let executives decide where the money will go. A complete list of the executives and their designated charities, along with bid forms, is available at executivesonauction.com. Bidders have until the end of April to place their offers.