Seventh-grade boy sells Popsicles to purchase bulletproof vest for Highland Park K-9

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – A Metro Detroit boy sold Popsicles as his summer job to potentially save the life of one of man's best friends.

Mindy Harris and her family members are proud of her son, Aiden Harris. Friday, they surprised the seventh-grader at St. Michael Catholic School, in Livonia, by celebrating the work he did. Aiden had been raising money by selling Popsicles, and the proceeds were used for a ballistic vest for a Highland Park Police Department K-9 named Trexx. 

"They reached out to me earlier in the year that they were interested in donating a vest, trying to get a vest," Officer Chris Zuellig said. "They didn't have one, they had to raise the money for it."

Harris and her husband took the money Aiden had raised without him knowing and purchased Zuellig's dog Trexx the potentially life-saving device. 

"We raised money by selling popsicles all summer long. He would go out and sell popsicles at baseball games," Harris said. "He raised fifteen hundred dollars."

Friday's celebration let Aiden know that he accomplished his goal in a big way.

A total of 600 kids joined Aiden inside the school gym during a school assembly, where the school principal called him to the front for his surprise. Aiden was beaming as his family joined him while the new ballistic vest was placed on Trexx. 

"It feels amazing!" Aiden said.

"It feels nice to just like donate to a charity and help someone in need!" said Harris.

And while he may have missed out on playing outside all summer long, Aiden was still happy.

"I was so happy that Trexx would be safe," Aiden said.

While most K-9 vests are needed, Zuellig noted that it is very expensive for police departments to outfit every police dog.

About the Authors:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.