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7Everyday Hero brings seniors, people with disabilities for nature rides in golf cart

Posted at 10:46 AM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 12:53:55-04

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Every week, you'll find Rick Nierman in Broomfield, driving for smiles.

"He’s always been there doing stuff for others, before himself," said his daughter, Maureen Nierman.

Rick heads up Kathy's Karts, which helps seniors and people with disabilities get outside and enjoy the local trails and paths. The idea started about a year and a half ago when Alzheimer's forced his wife, Kathy, into Broomfield Skilled Nursing Home.

"There was nothing to do there," he said. "We’d go to our 24-by-24 patio and that was our outdoors. There’s gotta be more than that."

So Nierman worked with the city of Broomfield to open its trails to golf carts and he and a handful of volunteers began giving weekly rides.

"It’s like I’m a resident — I walk in the door and they know me," he said.

Kathy said the residents at her nursing home thrive on it.

Happiness, as they say, is contagious. Just ask Kathy.

"They didn’t have anything to do and they were bored," she said. "They’d just sit and kind of look depressed and now they look forward and they’ll say he’s coming with the golf cart and they get all excited."

Kathy's Karts has already expanded to Adams County and Nierman doesn't plan on stopping there.

"We just wanna expand and see what we can do with it," he said. "We’re working with Jefferson County to try and get their trails."

While he doesn't make a dollar for his time, he always leaves paid in full.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.