Charity auction in support of the Mprize for longevity research a success
2005-07-18
Posted on : 2005-07-18 10:06:21 by Admin
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Early Friday morning, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Chairman of the Methuselah Foundation, announced that Doug Arends of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, bidding for a group of Mprize supporters, had won the once-in-a-lifetime lunch with Dr. Ray Kurzweil, inventor and visionary, author of the recent best-seller _Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever_.

The winning bid came in at US $4,050.00.  Dr. Kurzweil himself surprised Mprize supporters by offering a $4000 matching grant, nearly doubling the winning bid and bringing the Mprize fund up to over $1,460,000.

Doug Arends, the winner, explained his decision to bid saying, "We wanted to put in the strongest bid possible and sought out each other even though we had not met before. We knew that a lunch with Ray Kurzweil was very much in demand and that there is strong support for the Mprize and its ultimate goal of vastly extended human life spans. So on pretty short notice we put together a cohesive group that worked cooperatively through the bidding details from different parts of the continent."

Timothy Webb, another of the group of winners, remarked, "I wanted to support the Mprize, which I believe has enormous potential.  And I have an enormous amount of respect for Ray Kurzweil as an  inventor, and look forward to meeting him in person.  It will be good to know that I am sitting at a table, over a great meal, with people who want to see us all live longer, healthier lives."

Joel Morgan of New York was inspired by the auction to join the Three Hundred, the Mprize's group of committed givers who pledge US $1000 for 25 years to the Mprize.  Morgan said, "Reading _Fantastic Voyage_ made the possibility of radical life extension something that was no longer just science fiction."

Jay D. Fox, of Atlanta, Georgia, longtime Mprize supporter and member of the winning bid team, said, "I wanted to win this auction to support the MPrize, by helping to build the prize's value, both in cash and credibility. I look forward to having such a personal and exclusive lunch with Ray and my fellow members of the Three Hundred."

"This event has not only raised money for the Mprize, it has expanded public awareness of the scientifically based War on Aging," said Dr. Aubrey de Grey.  "As a writer who has been able to interest the general public in the genuine possibility that technological advances could dramatically increase our life spans, Ray gives a huge boost to the Mprize.  We look forward to working with Ray for years to come!"