Herriman, Riverton communities come together to help the ‘Mountain View Man’Apr 05, 2021 11:11AM ● By Justin Adams
Almost every day, one Riverton resident crosses Mountain View Corridor along 13400 South on his wheelchair, catching the eye of many motorists who wonder how they could help. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Motorists who frequent 13400 South between the Herriman and Riverton border have likely noticed a man traveling up and down the road on his wheelchair.
He’ll often travel long distances, from his home on the west side of Mountain View Corridor to the Harmons at Mountain View Village or even all the way to the Walmart on the other side of Bangerter Highway. He’s often seen traveling even through adverse weather conditions, such as blizzards and rainstorms. Concern for the man’s welfare prompted a group of Herriman and Riverton residents to get organized on social media to see if they could help.
“I had seen him on the street a couple of times,” said Traci Paoli, one of the admins of the Facebook group, Mountain View Man Fundraiser. “I saw posts on the Facebook groups asking about him, saying that they had offered him a ride but that he’d turned them down.”
The group was started in December 2020 by Hope Nicole.
“Anyone looking to help the man crossing mountain view and 134th in Riverton/Herriman border. I am trying to gather more information on how we can help him,” she wrote in the group’s first post.
After time constraints limited what the group’s first leaders were able to do, Paoli decided to step in and take the lead.
“I noticed everyone commenting on this thing, and I said, ‘Let’s do something about this,’” she said.
The first step was setting up a donation account for people to contribute to. Instead of going with an online service like Go Fund Me, which collects fees, Paoli went to Cyprus Credit Union, which agreed to waive all taxes and fees for the account. Staff even sent an employee to the home of the “Mountain View Man,” Corey Coons, to set up the account.
Once the account was set up, Paoli began soliciting donations through the Facebook group and in other community groups such as Herriman Happenings and Riverton Happenings.
In a matter of weeks, the group raised about $4,500 to go toward a new wheelchair for Coons.
Ron Whiting, a Herriman resident who works in the mobility industry with a focus on outfitting patients with wheelchairs to meet their unique needs, volunteered to meet with Coons in his home and figure out how to best use the money raised by the community. Given the rough terrain and poor weather he sometimes travels through, they decided to go with a lightweight frame wheelchair with special wheels designed for traveling through rain or snow. The wheelchair is now being built and will be delivered to Coons sometime in April.
Besides the main fundraiser for the wheelchair, the community also stepped up to help in other ways. Some residents donated new coats, gloves and shoes for Coons. And Harmons donated a gift basket of some of Coons’ favorite products.
Paoli has also been in touch with local and state agencies to see if it would be possible to implement safer conditions for Coons and other pedestrians attempting to cross Mountain View Corridor, such as fluorescent colored flags for people to hold as they cross the busy road.
Paoli said it was encouraging to see how quickly the community came together to help someone in need.
“It was really cool because we're known for being kind in Utah,” she said.” I’ve always felt that way. You feel a sense of friendliness.”
The City Journals was unable to reach Coons, a naturally private person, for comment. But Paoli said that he and his family are “very grateful and very thankful.”