Thursday, December 13, 2001

Ten-year-old Rochan Pinho sold patriotic buttons at the Pearl City Shopping Center in September and donated the proceeds to the Sept. 11 relief effort.

Oahu lad disappointed
with visit to Rosie show

Rochan Pinho says he did not
even have time to give her a lei

Star-Bulletin staff

An eagerly anticipated trip to appear on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" in New York City disappointed an 11-year-old Oahu boy who had hoped to meet some of the people he has raised money to help.

Rochan Pinho and his father spent 20 hours in the air and only twice that on the ground so that the boy could be recognized for raising more than $10,000 to help New Yorkers affected in the Sept. 11 attack.

Pinho, who suffers from terminal brain and spinal cancer, sold homemade patriotic buttons to help the relief effort.

The show provided first-class travel and hotel accommodations, but Pinho said the trip was so rushed that they did not have much time to see the city, except from the airplane.

He did not even have an opportunity to give O'Donnell a lei.

"I didn't really get a chance to meet her," except for the brief appearance on the show, he said. "They rushed us out (of the studio), even, 'cause it was so fast."

He was also disappointed that he did not have a chance to visit Ground Zero or meet the rescue workers he had hoped to thank for their efforts.

However, during the taping of the Dec. 24 show, Pinho did meet a firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center towers but who lost 43 of his colleagues.

"It was pretty cool," he said.

Pinho may have an opportunity to return to New York for an extended visit later this month. New York Gov. George Pataki's office is working on the arrangements.

E-mail to City Desk

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