SUNSET -- While most kids use their summer vacation as a break from hard work, Jack Stevenson has spent his in the hot sun, feverishly selling shaved ice for the Clinton Police Department.
The 7-year-old Sunset resident has spent every Thursday this summer on the sidewalk in front of his home, selling snow cones in an effort to raise money for the police department's K-9 unit.
Jack calls his quest "Sno Cones 4 Safety" and began the operation after reading about a young Florida girl who raised enough money to supply bulletproof vests for all of the police dogs in her state.
"I read about police dogs in a book at the library and wanted to do something to help them," Jack said. "They keep us safe, so I wanted to help keep them safe."
He decided cold, hard cash -- earned from selling cold, hard ice -- was the best way to help.
Jack approached the Clinton Police Department (the Sunset department doesn't have a K-9 unit) and asked if its dog had a vest.
The dog, Delta, did indeed have a vest, but the police department told Jack the program is always in need of funds and that Justin Glommen, the officer assigned to Delta, often spends money out of his own pocket to maintain her.
"We are one of the smallest police departments in the state," Glommen said. "And we've got a very strict budget that we have to stay within, so every little bit helps. We are more than honored to be the beneficiary of Jack's hard work."
Jack's mother, Peggy, said her son's dedication to the project has surprised many of her neighbors, but not her.
"He's like a 30-year-old trapped in a 7-year-old's body," she said. "In our family, we talk a lot about service and making sacrifices for others. He's really taken it to heart."
With large signs, balloons and a prime location at 1983 N. 250 West, which is across the street from Sunset Elementary School, Jack has already raised more than $100 for Delta and Glommen.
At 50 cents per cone, he plans to continue his fundraising efforts until school starts back up in the fall, with a goal of raising at least $300.
Glommen said when Jack is finished, he'll be asked to present the money at a Clinton City Council meeting.
"We think he's giving a pretty special effort," Glommen said, "so we want him to be formally recognized rather than just taking the money and giving him a pat on the back."
Even so, Jack said he's not raising money for recognition.
"I do it because it makes me happy -- that and because I love dogs."