If you search for “Cola-Cola” on eBay, you’ll find categories like “Bottles,” “Clocks,” “Signs,” and “Thermometers." What you won’t typically find, however, is “Lunch with Muhtar Kent.”

Yet, that's just what happened last December when Coca-Cola’s Chairman and CEO signed up to participate in SHOPATHON (RED), an eBay auction sponsored by (RED) to raise money for the fight against AIDS. 

The “Lunch with Muhtar Kent” auction garnered more than 29,000 page views and 45+ bids, with the winning bid ultimately raising $19,112 – one of the campaign's highest-earning auction items. The winners of the auction, Avrum and Lauren Elmakis, arrived at Coca-Cola headquarters on March 4 to claim their prize: a private lunch with Kent and tours of Coke's offices, the Coca-Cola archives and The World of Coca-Cola.

Avrum, Lauren, and Muhtar talk shop on Mainstreet after lunch.

Amy Sparks

Avrum and Lauren Elmakis are the founders of TDBBS, the parent company of http://www.bestbullysticks.com/, a maker of natural and affordable treats for dogs. Their contribution helped raise a total of $100,000 from the eBay (RED) auctions, which were matched by the Gates Foundation, culminating in $200,000 toward AIDS-related causes.

“It was inspiring to both Lauren and I to see the culture that exists at your company, especially as it is one of the largest in the world,” Avrum Elmakis wrote after the event. “It felt like a family, and the pride you all exhibited is rare; even among some other incredible companies we have been fortunate enough to visit.” 

(RED) was founded with a simple mission: to deliver a world without AIDS – and much of their work focuses on addressing mother-to-infant HIV transmission. Coca-Cola proudly supports (RED) and the fight against AIDS. Learn more about (RED) and the work they do here.