Donations help ManoaBy Rod Ohira
Pop Warner teams overcome
Manoa's Pop Warner football teams have a lot to be thankful for today.
Two major donations will allow the program to send its teams to Las Vegas next month and erase the stigma left by Saturday's fund-raising scam.
Mike Irish, owner of Keoki's Lau Lau and Kalua Pig at 1723 Kahai St. in Kalihi, yesterday provided the final blessing.
Irish is donating 3,000 pounds of kalua pig so the program can honor the fund-raising tickets sold.
Tickets for Saturday's scheduled pickup of kalua pig, which was never delivered, will be honored at a date to be announced.
Manoa officials have accepted his offer, Irish said.
"I hate to see something like this hurt them because Pop Warner depends a lot on fund raising," said Irish, whose donation is worth about $15,000.
"My nephew plays for the Kalani Junior Pee Wee team so I know what Pop Warner does for young kids. I just wanted to do something to help Manoa."
On Tuesday, Councilwoman Rene Mansho raised $12,000 through private donors to cover traveling, hotel, meals and ground transportation expenses for 38 players and six coaches for a Dec. 11 game in Las Vegas.
One Honolulu businessman, who requested anonymity, contributed $10,000 of that total. At least 10 others were also prepared to contribute, says Mansho.
Police yesterday charged 30-year-old Shane Santos of a Lemon Road address in Waikiki with second-degree theft.
More theft charges related to the case are pending against Santos, says Detective Glen Muramoto.
According to an affidavit filed in Honolulu District Court by officer Joseph Amasiu, Manoa Midget Division team mother Chloe Fong says she gave $870 cash to Santos, who was in charge of collecting money for the fund-raiser.
Santos was given money by other parents to purchase and deliver kalua pig and made no effort to contact anyone to inform them of changes in the pickup schedule, the affidavit says.
Officer Kenneth Creekmur, parent of a Manoa player, located and detained Santos outside his Lemon Road apartment Monday. Santos was arrested at 8 p.m.
Santos allegedly used cash from the fund-raiser to take a Las Vegas trip.
Muramoto says what's unusual about this case is the public response it has generated.
"A lot of people have been calling me asking how they can help the kids or where they can donate money," Muramoto said. "The focus is on the kids. It's kind of refreshing to see that so many people wanted to help."