Poi Dog plush toy debuts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Poi Dog, the lovable pooch created by Kalihi artist Brian Ito, of Poi Pounder Hawaii, is now a plush animal, and he'll debut at Sam's Club at Pearl Highlands Center from 2 to 3 p.m. today in a benefit for the nonprofit organization HUGS -- Help, Understanding & Group Support.

Poi Dog has been a familiar sight over the years as a character at UH football games and as the mascot for various charitable events. Poi Dog was recently the official mascot for the "Gifts of Aloha" project that brought 12,000 leis and gifts to the survivors of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York.

Poi Pounder Hawaii specializes in local designs and T-shirt printing. The debut of Poi Dog stuffed animals is only the start of expansion for the company, as they are currently developing comic strips, children's books, a children's TV show, animated clips, e-cards and even a film project with a former Disney animator.

Sam's Club is located at 1000 Kamehameha Hwy. in Pearl City. Call 456-7788. For information about HUGS, call 732-4846.

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