Thank You for your Contribution….You Put the Spring Back Into My Step!


4 Incredible Cycling Routes


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Don’t Cycle? Then Walk 4 CMT




Enjoy Cycling?  Relish views of the mountains and Lake Champlain? Fond of quaint VT towns? If so, check out the Cycle 4 CMT Cycling Routes!

Sign Up Today

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Take on our longest and most challenging route, 41 miles and 2,800′ of climbing.  Views of Lake Champlain, Adirondack and Green Mountains

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Our second longest distance at 25 miles; plenty of distance with less climbing.  Still a challenge.

Take a calm, cool, cruise around Charlotte. 15 Miles.

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Shorter distance with breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks – our 6.5 Mile Route.

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Learn More About the Route Options Here

Walk 4 CMT: And this year, we have a new activity planned if you don’t cycle. Now, everyone can participate in raising funds for CMT. Sign up to do a mile walk on the grounds of the Old Lantern. Every step brings us closer to a treatment.


A Message from Yohan

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Thanks for reading my story!

Cast is off! Walking boot is on, and I can start putting pressure on that foot next week. I’ve never had the energy to be super athletic. So just walking, one foot in front of the other is my end goal. And short distances are fine. I don’t need to climb Camel’s Hump or Mount Mansfield Ultimately, if  I can walk up Church Street once my foot heals, I’ll be so happy. Please continue to donate to my cause, which is now our cause. Your support has lifted my spirits when a bad day comes along. Your caring keeps me hopeful. Your participation reminds me that I can never give up. Thank you for your vote of confidence. I will not let you down.

With Love,


Why We Need Your Help

Your contributions really are getting us closer to stopping the progression of CMT.  Please participate and register for the 4th annual Cycle 4 CMT. And bring a friend or two!

Register or Donate Now

Photo credits: George Ouellette

Register NOW for the Legendary Cycle 4 CMT AFTER Party on 8/27/17

Cycle 4 CMT – So Much More than a Cycling Event!

What sets the Cycle 4 CMT event apart from other VT cycling fundraisers? Our legendary after party at the Old Lantern in Charlotte, VT, of course! After riding, just sit back, relax and unwind in a beautiful setting with family and friends while enjoying VT brewed beer, Citizen Cider, great food (appetizers followed by a fully catered menu) and rockin’ music from the band, Leno, Cheney and Young.

In addition to delicious food, thirst-quenching drinks, and jamming tunes, our silent auction includes items you just cannot live without. There is something for everyone!

And, we are excited to announce that once again this year, we have CMT experts attending and riding to raise money to advance CMT research (Names to be announced soon). Don’t pass up this chance to talk with our CMT docs and get real-time answers to your questions!

Silent Auction items

Everyone is welcome! ALL participants, riders, and non-riders are invited to the after party upon registration. What are you waiting for?

Live Music

Move to the Groove! Leno, Cheney, and Young. This local group spends much of its time performing across Vermont to fans of rock and roll from the 60’s to today.

Great Food to Satisfy Your Post Ride Hunger.

The Old Lantern Tavern whips up some amazing food for the afterparty. Enjoy!

Always Better When Shared With Friends

Relaxing and hanging out the after party with family and friends is a highlight of the event.

A Message from Yohan
Thanks for reading my story!

The pins in my toes are out! That’s a relief. Next week, I’ll get a brand new cast which I’ll have for another 2-4 weeks. The only thing I want in the world is to walk right now. I’ve had a little too much time (11 months, to be exact) to think about the end result, but I have a good feeling about this last surgery. I’m determined to be walking this summer. My parents are great and all, but at 24, I’m ready to get out in the world, go to grad school and pursue my interest in psychology.

Thanks again for fighting for me when I am down for the count. I’m amazed and profoundly grateful for the generosity and kindness of every participant, helper, supporter and organizer. And did I ever mention that I have the best uncle ever? Thanks, Uncle Chris for your incredible energy and drive. I love you.


Why We Need Your Help

 Your contributions really are getting us closer to stopping the progression of CMT.  Please participate and register for the 4th annual Cycle 4 CMT. And bring a friend or two!

Photo credits: George Ouellette

What Happens At Cooterfest, Stays at Cooterfest!

It was in the year 2010 that I finally had the opportunity to meet Ronnie Plageman Sr. in person.

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Ronnie Plageman Sr.

Our first encounter was at the first-ever CMTA Leader Conference in Las Vegas. We had had many phone calls over the years, and it was time to meet the voice behind the receiver, the man who started the Inverness, Florida CMTA support group. He was a kind, gentle and upbeat soul, and his accent betrayed a touch of the south, so much so that I had the darnedest time understanding him. And not to be disrespectful or anything, but to my ears, it sounded as if he were speaking with marbles in his mouth.

So, when I finally met him, and just for curiosity sake, I asked him to open his mouth and say, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. ” I saw a tongue, teeth, fillings and crowns, but nope, no marbles- it was that southern twang throwing me off.

While waiting in the buffet line, he threw out an invitation: “Y’all otta’ come to Coofest.” When he spoke about this Coofest, his eyes lit up and he became as animated as a flailing live wire. From the sounds of things, Coofest had to be a lot of fun, topped off by fundraising and the spreading of CMT awareness. “I’m in!” I shouted as if he had hearing loss. He didn’t. I was just overcompensating for that southern drawl.  Gesticulating wildly and speaking loudly, but slowly, I enunciated every syllable of every word with grand effort, just to make sure we understood one another. I’m not sure this helped either one of us at all. In the end, my communication efforts made me look like a hyperactive mime with a voice.

Since Coofest was not brought up again during the conference, I thought it was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo – passing talk, a never-to-be fantasy trip.

I didn’t see it coming…..

2 weeks later, Ronnie called me…
“ ‘lisbeth? Ronnie Plageman here from Inverness, Florida. Makin’ sure yer still comin’ to Coofest. Jerry’s pullin’ the Archy train, all the way ferm Las Vegas! You comin’ with the gang? ”  “Um, uh, um….. well, if Jerry is pulling the entire Archy train, a mere 2,400 miles ONE WAY, how could I say “No”? Trying to buy some time, I told him I’d get back to him within the next couple of days and I immediately called Pat D.
Coofest? It’s not Coofest!.” Pat scolded. “It’s Coo-TER-fest, pronounced, Kooderfest.” Well, now I’m really not going, I thought to myself. This whole thing sounds just wrong.

“What exactly is a cooter?” I ventured hesitantly? Pat D rolled her eyes.” A cooter is a North American river turtle. ”

Florida Cooter

Didn’t you click on the website link to read the story behind Cooterfest? she asked with disappointment. I did not bother to respond because the answer was quite obvious. Pat D. sighed. “Well, if you had done any research, you would know that the Florida Cooter got its name from an especially heroic turtle who impressed some other animals with its feats of bravery.  At the end of the story, the possum then gave the title “Courageous Turtle” to the reptile, but a baby mouse, who had a speech impediment, shortened the name to ‘cooter.’ So, Cooterfest is  an annual celebration of a turtle who saved the animals that lived on the shores of Lake Tsala Apopka.”

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Pat D.

So….obvious? Seriously, Pat, the former schoolteacher made it sound as if Cooterfest was a major event in American history. I must have been sick that day at school.
Having worked at the CMTA for almost 20 years before her untimely passing in December of 2015, Pat Dreibelbis, our Director of Program Services, was our leader, historian, mentor and friend. Pat D. is the one who got me involved with the CMTA and she’s the one who talked me into meeting her and Dana, the CMTA’s jack-of-all-trades, into flying to Orlando for a CMTA road trip in 2010. Somehow, Jeana Sweeney, who was working part-time for the CMTA at the time managed to reserve a seat in our van. Well, we had stipulations for her to meet should she decide to come, and like the good sport she is, our terms were unconditionally accepted and off to Cooterfest we went!!

And who is Archy and what is the Archy train? Archy became the CMTA’s mascot in 2009. Archy was a bit different than you and me, because Archy was actually a turtle, a turtle with high-arched feet, hence the name – Archy.  Archy’s adventures (written by Pat but inspired by us all) were featured in The CMTA Report from 2009 to 2014 and soon became a favorite for kids of all ages. See the entire collection of stories here:

Archy, the CMTA mascot

Longtime CMTA volunteer and support group leader Jerry Cross had built and decorated each Archy train seat by hand, using overturned wheelbarrows and then hauled it from Nevada all the way to Inverness, Florida just so that the kids at the festival could hear Archy tales and take rides in the train.

As promised, Jeana showed up wearing her bright green turtle costume, claiming to be Archy’s sister, Tara.  Well, as you might guess, Tara was a big hit with just about EVERYBODY!

Tara the Turtle

The weekend was a blast. We informed the Cooterfest attendees about CMT, sold CMTA materials, spoke at Ronnie’s support group, laughed a lot and bonded with our friends, Jerry, Ronnie and their families.

Archy Train
The Cooterfest Gang

After Cooterfest in 2010, we all kept in touch regularly. CMT brought us together and kept us together, if not in person, then by phone, email, and text.

When I recently heard of Ronnie Plageman’s sudden passing in April 2017, I went numb with disbelief. I am also very fond of Ronnie, his wife Judy and Ronnie’s son, Ron who is our CMTA branch leader in Denver, CO. The sadness brought back memories of good times past where turtles saved lives and trains brought smiles to children and their parents.

Our friend Jerry Cross, the self-proclaimed grump from Pahrump, who finished every conversation with, “smile and be happy” left this world after a long illness at the end of 2015.  Pat D also died suddenly,  on Dec.  16, 2014, with Dana by her side.
We deeply miss Ronnie, Jerry and Pat D. They were inspirational people who got involved with the CMTA to make a difference and that they did. They were CMT warriors who never, ever gave up the fight to create a better world for those living with CMT. I am proud to follow in their footsteps, doing my best to widen and fortify the trail they forged. Their legacies loom large.

Long Live Cooterfest!

Vicki Pollyea, Thanks for the collage!

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