Blue bands help promote peace and lend support to military families.

National fad gets local touch

Everybody's wild for bracelets with a cause. Just as the Lance Armstrong Foundation has its yellow LIVESTRONG band, PRZ Distribution, a locally owned and operated marketing and distribution company, is producing blue peace bands with the words "Aloha Troops" on one side and "Peace Love Faith" on the other.

The bands sell for $4 each, with 50 percent of the proceeds being donated to organizations that support military families that have been affected by the war.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for us to do what we can to show our support," said PRZ Distribution President Tod Tomasa. "While the other bands being sold are for very good causes, we felt there was a need to do something that would benefit those here at home."

The bands are available in youth and adult sizes. Organizations interested in selling these bands as a fund-raiser should call 237-5432 or e-mail info@PRZ.us.

Japan's New Year tradition has a new home

We've adopted Japanese New Year traditions of mochi-pounding and setting up the kadomatsu arrangement, so why not add one more? Fukubukuro, practiced by Japanese merchants, is one way for retailers to say thanks to their customers, and Ala Moana Center will start 2005 with the tradition.

Fukubukuro literally means "surprise bag" and is a grab bag with mystery contents priced at least 50 percent off the retail value of the merchandise inside.

Hundreds are expected to line up in front of participating stores before the center opens in hopes of purchasing a Fukubukuro bag in a range of prices. Look for the red-and-white Fukubukuro signage and display of bags outside participating stores: Aveda, Baccarat, Burberry, Celine, Christian Dior, Clio Blue, Crabtree & Evelyn, Diesel, Folli Follie, Hawaiian Quilt Collection, Hilo Hattie, L'Epicier, Le Sportsac, Maui Divers, Neiman Marcus, Pacific Harley-Davidson, Prada, Prada Sport, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sandal Tree, Sephora and the Compleat Kitchen.

The event runs 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday while supplies last.

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