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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sales bogus, 'ukulele teacher says

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Roy Sakuma, the owner of the four O'ahu 'ukulele studios that carry his name, wants people to know that he never asks students to sell anything for fund-raisers.


So anyone using his name to sell cookies is bogus, Sakuma said yesterday.

For at least a month, Sakuma has been hearing stories about people selling cookies around town for $10 using the pretense of an 'ukulele-related trip to Tahiti.

Yesterday Sakuma got the most specific information after Jane Nebrija — the mother of two Sakuma students — and a group of her co-workers were asked to buy wafers in the parking lot of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

"Now we have a confirmed report that someone is selling cookies, using our studio as the basis for their sale," Sakuma said. "We don't do fund-raisers."

Nebrija had seen the same yellow package of wafers on sale at Longs for just 99 cents. And there was something odd about the way the woman and boy hit strangers up in a parking lot.

When Nebrija's daughters need to sell Zippy's chili tickets or local-style barbecued chicken, they move them the way hundreds of other Hawai'i children do — through their parents.

"My husband and I sell them at work and to relatives," Nebrija said, "not to strangers."

Nebrija described the dark-haired woman as about 40 years old, 5 feet 5, about 160 pounds. The boy was 9 or 10 years old and about 4 feet tall.

Detective Letha DeCaires at the Honolulu Police Department is interested in hearing more about the bogus fund-raiser.

Anyone with information should call HPD's CrimeStoppers unit at 955-8300.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com or at 525-8085.