Martha Robertson, founder of Ski For Heat was named a Money Magazine hero for the state of Vermont. She was recognized for the creation of Ski for Heat, which raises money for Vermont's Community Action Agencies to help fund their heating assistance programs.
"I'm happy because it means that more people will hear about Ski For Heat and of course, that means we can help more people," she said. "I was surprised and honored I recognize that it's not about me, it's the people that support Ski For Heat. If not for their generosity, [the event would not be where it is today]."
According to Money magazine, what it takes to be named one of their heroes is some financial savvy, hard work and the desire to help others.
"We started giving the shout out to folks who fit the bill in 2012 and this month MONEY is on a mission of its own: proving there are heroes everywhere, doing creative and extraordinary work," the magazine states.
Robertson started the organization in 2001 as a way to make a donation to help a Vermont family pay their fuel bill, but decided to do a ski-a-thon and take donations from family and friends. She said she had no idea the event would ever get this big; her first goal was $100.
Now, 13 years later, the event has gone statewide, has added a benefit concert featuring Downtown Bob and those Dangerous Bluesmen, includes all five Community Action Agencies and this past year added alpine skiing events.
"I love that people want to participate," she said.
Communities that hold Ski for Heat events, she said, keep the money raised locally in the area. While Robertson said she didn't know exactly how much money has been raised, it's around $300,000.
She said this event would be nowhere without all the sponsors, skiers and people who have donated. Robertson said she was especially grateful to the business community in the area for all their help, Tracy and Chuck Black, owners of Wild Wings cross country Ski area and the BROC - Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, who helped get the event off the ground.
"I want everybody to have an award, not just me," she said.