Bake sale for HIV kids

Luke Pound accepts payment from Dr. Vicki Tepper, director of the University of Maryland pediatric AIDS Program, during the Oct. 22 bake sale the 12-year-old Academy Heights resident hosted to raise money to pay transportation expenses for children with HIV to attend the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut. Vicki also donated a cake to Saturday afternoon's sale. (Photo by Phil Grout / October 22, 2011)

Like most boys turning 12 years old, Luke Pound had cake and cookies at his birthday party Oct. 22.

For Luke, though, the desserts serve as inventory.

They were be part of a bake sale taking place in front of his home on the 400 block of Lambeth Road, in Academy Heights.

The event raised $1,597, according to Luke's mother, Melissa Pound, on Oct. 24.

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"We were just overwhelmed by the kindess, and are so grateful," she said. "It says a lot about the community.

"People we didn't even know showed up with food. Kids came to buy something and asked if they could stay and help," she said.

Luke will send the proceeds to the Pediatric AIDS Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center Hospital for Children.

"There's always been something about Luke that truly cares about other people," Melissa Pound said.

It all started last January in Luke's fifth-grade health class at Westowne Elementary School when he learned about HIV and AIDS.

"When Luke came home from school that day, he honestly looked teary when he told me that children could start out in the world that way," his mother said.

"For some reason, this really touched him, finding out about HIV and children being born with HIV."

Immediately, Luke began saving money to help the cause.

Whatever change he received after buying something, Luke said he would save.

Occasionally, he'd put a dollar bill aside, he added.

Luke didn't count the money regularly, but estimated he saved just under $10 by the end of the summer.

Since announcing that he would hold the bake sale to bolster the effort, he started receiving donations.

As of Oct. 18, he said he had about $90.

"It's amazing how much it's grown," Luke said. "I don't really have much of a goal for this.

"All I want is to sell as much stuff as we can. Hopefully, we'll be shocked at the total outcome."

His mother said Luke has requested that people donate to the Pediatric AIDS Program in lieu of presents.