by: photo by David Stroup, Carolina and mom Laura show off her school project.

Five-year-old Soujourner School student Carolina Stahly-Dronkowski could use a little help saving her new friends - the cheetahs.

'I did a project on cheetahs,' she said, stopping by the newspaper offices with mom Laura Stahly-Dronkowski after school last week. 'I found out that there weren't very many left.

'I wanted to save them.' She started by selling brownies at her church - she raised $40 for the Cheetah Conservation Society - and then moved on to her school.

'I went around to classrooms,' she said, 'so that I could get spare change.'

The fundraiser is still going on - classmates are bringing in more money, and people can contribute by at Sojourner School. All money goes to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Carolina said she likes the cheetahs because they're fast, and 'they make chirps, instead of growls.'

But she also admits she took on the project because 'I didn't want to do anything my mother told me to, like another animal.'

Laura Stahly-Dronkowski noted that this was Carolina's second cheetah project, and she had suggested that she try something different. 'I said 'why don't you learn about this' - but she said 'no - I want to learn about cheetahs.''

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