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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Outpouring of aloha for Scouts

By (Ukjent person)
Advertiser Staff Writer


The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i is collecting donations for Troop 611. VASH requests that checks and money orders be made out to: Boy Scouts of America Troop 611. Cash will not be accepted.

Call Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i at 926-8274 for more information.

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Phones were ringing off the hook at the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i yesterday following reports that some California Boy Scouts had $2,500 worth of belongings stolen from their van.

And many of the more than 40 calls that flooded the office were from businesses and individuals wanting to make donations, said Jessica Rich, president of VASH.

Among the donations was $2,500 from the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation and more than $250 from private donors.

One store offered new glasses for a Scout whose glasses were stolen. A souvenir shop offered to donate key chains, cups, and other souvenirs. A Waimanalo community group offered its support.

VASH will continue collecting donations until 4 p.m. today.

Rich and U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo will present the donations to the troop at a private dinner tonight.

"Maybe (the theft) was a bad deed, but the good deeds are 10 times greater," Rich said. "The outpouring is just tremendous."

The Scouts were overwhelmed by the community support.

"It shows the spirit of aloha of Hawai'i," said Al Hironaga, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 611 of San Jose, Calif. "People who don't really know us are contributing things. It's really nice, but that's not what we were looking for when we made the appeal. We really want the film back and the memory card from the camera."

Someone broke into the troop's van Friday morning when members stopped in Waimanalo for a bite to eat. Just hours after the theft, the troop volunteered to clean up 36 bags of debris at a nearby beach.

The troop will return to help clean Bellows Beach today and will return home tomorrow.

Many people calling to donate to VASH also wanted to express their anger about what happened to the Boy Scouts, Rich said.

"They don't know where to turn or what to do. ... They don't like what happened to the Boy Scouts. They (Troop 611) are going to know the community truly cares what happened to them."

Reach (Ukjent person) at (unknown address).