Like most 9-year-olds, Dane Best is looking forward to the next big snowfall in his small town of Severance, Colorado. But unlike most 9-year-olds, Dane played a big part in making this year extra fun for the children of Severance.
A nearly-century old ordinance in the town of 3,000 about 60 miles north of Denver forbid citizens from throwing stones or “missiles” within city limits. Technically, snowballs were considered missiles. Dane found out about this law on a class field trip to the town hall and decided someone needed to do something about it.
Kyle Rietkerk, assistant to the town administrator, said Severance’s lawmakers have always encouraged kids to challenge the ordinance so that it can be changed.
“You have the power, you can change the law,” Reitkerk said, but until Dane came around, nobody had stepped up to fight it.
Dane got his friends and classmates on board to help his cause. The kids wrote letters and signed a petition asking the town to change the law. Dane took things a step further and gave a presentation to the Board of Trustees on why the law was outdated and needed changing.
The Board of Trustees was happy to change the ordinance to allow for snowball throwing. Dane and his younger brother even got to throw the town’s first legal snowballs.
When interviewed later, Dane summed up the moral of the story. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can have a voice in your town.”
Anyone can make a difference in their community if they’re willing to speak up and put in the work!