Who says you can’t fight City Hall? Not Dane Best of Severance, Colorado, that's for sure. The nine-year-old boy was fed up with a century-old ban on snowball fights so he did what any elementary school student would do. He organized a campaign to get the law overturned!
You see, Dane lives in Northern Colorado, an area of the country that provides a generous annual snowfall. And he has a younger brother who would be the perfect target for the icy projectiles, so something had to be done.
“Kyle Rietkerk, assistant to the Severance town administrator, said the rule was part of a larger ordinance that made it illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, any other public or private property or vehicles. Snowballs fell under the town's definition of ‘missiles.’
"All of the kids always get blown away that it's illegal to have snowball fights in Severance," Rietkerk said before the meeting. "So, what ends up happening is (town leaders) always encourage the kids with, 'You have the power you can change the law.' No one has."
Well, with that challenge having been laid down, Dane knew he had to step up. Yes, something had to be done and Dane was just the man to do it. He began by enlisting the help of his classmates with a letter-writing campaign. Dane made sure all City Council members received the correspondence.
Then, he needed to get on the agenda for the next council meeting, which was set for December 3rd. Dane worked with his parents to polish his three-minute presentation in which he appealed to the members that the law was outdated.
"The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world," he said during his presentation. "The law was created many years ago. Today's kids need a reason to play outside."
And although the city had never enforced the law in the past, Dane felt it was important to wipe it from the books so no kid has to look over his should for the police when he wants to have little winter wonderland fun with his buddies.
After Dane finished his passionate speech he fielded some tough questions from the panel. Trustee Michelle Duda posed this question: ”If we do enact snowball fighting, have you talked to your fellow students about safety issues?
“Dane, who had been working on a presentation for the town board for the past month, was prepared. He doesn't plan to throw snowballs with rocks inside of them at anyone, he said, and he said he’d never throw a snowball at a window."
The panel members were impressed with Dane's responses and voted unanimously to overturn the ordinance. Parents and kids in the audience cheered at the decision, and everyone immediately went outdoors to put the new rule into effect.
At that, the mayor presented Dane with a nice fat snowball so he and his brother Dax could engage in the town’s first legal snowball fight. And what did the nine-year-old 'activist' do with it? Exactly what he said he would: Threw at his brother, of course!