Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 | 6:26 p.m.
"Come get your animal cookies!" Yovan Hirales yelled to his schoolmates from the other side of the large orange dog house front that served as the window to his baked goods stand.
"We got cats, dogs and turtles!" the 8-year-old said.
Yovan was among the 60 students who filled the role of sweets vendors for the day during The Meadow School's annual Second Grade Valentine's Bake Sale on Friday to benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals.
Each student had to create their own decorative stand from which to hawk their cookies, candies and other sweet creations.
Yovan's dog house was among others that also took the animal-themed route such as second grade Mason du Boef's "Dollars for Dogs" stand that featured stuffed toy dogs hanging in front of a background papered by real dollar bills.
"There's $316 on the board and we'll donate $100 more if we sell all the cookies," said Mason's mother, Heather du Boef.
Student Carson Levy, 8, decided to take a different route from the animal themes. A large frog jumping out of a black cauldron was the centerpiece of his stand from which he sold not cookies but rather all things creepy crawly and sweet.
Gummy worms, centipedes and tarantulas as well as chocolate frogs were all mixed into the goodie container he and his mom Courtney Levy sold to passerbys.
While Carson was having a good time selling his creepy treats, he said he really had fun during one of the events leading up to the bake sale.
An important part of the fundraiser is the second grade student's field trip to the NSPCA, where they can learn all about the organization for which they're raising money.
Carson said during his class's trip he learned what the money would be used for.
"We're doing this to help the NSPCA get money so the animals there can have the feeling of being part of a family even though they're in a kennel," he said.
Second grade teacher and one of the event organizers Jeffrey Pettit said the school has been working with the NSPCA for six years and has donated about $14,000 during that time.
In addition to the bake sale, the students sell T-shirts and auction off their decorative stands to the first graders who will partake in the project next year.
Last year alone, he said the school donated close to $5,500. This year he said they hoped to surpass $6,000.
Jennifer Palombi, president and founder of the NSPCA, said as Southern Nevada's only no-kill shelter it's really important the doors stay open, and that fundraisers like this help make that possible.
Additionally, she said it's important to educate people while they're young about pet responsibility.
"It's very important to us," she said. "To me, education is where it's at."
As another perk, she said the students will often times bring their parents back and adopt an animal.
From the whole experience of the field trip, discussions and the bake sale, Pettit said the students gain the idea that community service is an important part of family life.
They also realize that there are animals and people in need and that it's a good thing to reach out and provide help, he said.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.