CABOT, Vt. (June 11, 2008) — In an effort to highlight the importance of voting, six students from Vermont’s leading colleges and universities will bicycle cross country from Vermont, the Green Mountain State, to Wyoming, the Equality State, to register as many voters as possible for the 2008 presidential election.
The Great American Voter Trek will see cyclists begin their cross country quest in Vermont, the first state to allow non-property owners the right to vote, and end their journey in Wyoming, famously the first state to allow women the right to vote.
Why the focus on registering voters? The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that of the 197 million citizens who were eligible to vote in the last presidential election, only 142 million were registered. And, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center and the Associated Press found that 40 percent of all 18 to 29-year-olds are not registered to vote. Cabot wants to help change this.
The 47-day, 1,800-mile Trek kicks off on Monday, June 16 at 8am with a special VIP Send-Off at The University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. The tour will finish in Laramie, Wyoming with two events - a special welcome celebration and registration event at the University of Wyoming on July 31 and the final Trek event, which pays tribute to Cabot’s farmer roots, will be held August 1 at the Laramie Farmers Market.
The Burlington VIP send-off will feature tour participants, sponsors, and state officials who will be on-hand to toast the cyclists and mark the start of the Trek. Scheduled to appear at the send-off are Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Vermont State Attorney General Bill Sorrell.
The cyclists will make stops in six key cities including: Buffalo (New York), Cleveland (Ohio), Chicago (Illinois), Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Omaha (Nebraska) and Laramie (Wyoming). In between the six major registration stops, the cyclists will meet with mayors and town clerks in 25 different municipalities. The town officials will assist the cyclists in spreading the word on the importance of voting and will reach out to registered and non-registered citizens through a series of mini events at diners and local gathering places along the Trek route.
Activities at the six primary event stops will include voter registration, music, free Vermont products and Vermont vacation package prize drawings
“We’re proud to be a sponsor of this exciting event,” said Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Roberta MacDonald. “This is a fantastic way for some of Vermont’s brightest and most engaging young minds to be involved in the political process. Their efforts will help raise voter awareness and engage more people in the political process. That’s something we can all be proud of.”
Members of the cycling team include: Max MacDonald of St. Michael’s College, Matt Healy of St. Michael’s College, Ali Tesoriero Saslafsky of The University of Vermont, Megan Newhouse of The University of Vermont, Nathan Williams of Middlebury College, and Hayden Coon of Johnson State College.
The cyclists will conduct daily call-ins to WDEV-AM/FM in Vermont to keep listeners up-to-date on their activities. They will also post weekly uploads to www.votertrek.com with media interviews along the route, daily voter registration counts, fun stories and encounters. You can also track the cyclists’ progress across the country on this website.
Sponsorships, prizes and equipment for the tour have been donated by: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, National Life Group, Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee, Gardener’s Supply Company, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, King Arthur Flour, Stoweflake Spa & Resort, Smugglers’ Notch, the State of Vermont, 3-A-Day of Dairy and the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association.
Trek route information, event locations and daily updates can be accessed at: www.votertrek.com
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is most widely known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar and World’s Best Lowfat Cheddar.” Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, please visit www.cabotcheese.coop
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