MANCHESTER - Ski for Heat, the community-based fundraiser that raises money to help low-income families in southwestern Vermont with heating fuel assistance, will be starting off its fundraising season with a concert and dance party, thanks to Bob Stannard & Those Dangerous Bluesmen. On Jan. 11, Stannard and a very talented group of his musician friends will again be putting on their "hot blues for cold nights" performance at the Eagles Club on Route 11/30 in Manchester, starting at 7 p.m.

"This is such a great evening of entertainment; people are up and dancing the night away or sitting at tables and chairs enjoying the show all for a good cause. And you never know what special guests will join Bob on the stage," said Martha Robertson, founder of Ski for Heat. "There's still buzz about last year's."

The event is one that Stannard particulary enjoys playing.

"This is one of our favorite gigs to do. The crowd is up dancing, enjoying the show, and the band has a chance to get together, play some favorite music, and help Ski for Heat," said Stannard. "Winter can be a difficult time for many in our community, so anything we can do to help, we are happy to do."

The concert is being presented by Tyler Electric & Security, Inc., Dorset. Robertson commented that she is looking forward to having Brad Tyler again take his turn on the drums. Proceeds from the concert will go to Ski for Heat, benefiting the fuel assistance program at BROC-Community Action in Southwestern Vermont. There is a suggested donation of $20; however people are encouraged to come and simply give what they can. Tickets can be purchased online at www.skiforheat.org, at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, at the door, or by calling Robertson at 802-779-2227.

The Ski for Heat event is Sunday, Jan. 26. New this year, Ski for Heat is expanding to be a statewide Ski Vermont, the five Community Action Agencies (CAAs) of Vermont, and Robertson are working collaboratively on this statewide initiative, which will take place at participating Vermont alpine ski resorts and nordic cross-country ski centers throughout the state.

The event is open to skiers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers of all abilities and ages. Participants ask friends or family to make donations or pledges on their behalf, or the participants can make a donation themselves. Ski areas that are taking part are offering different incentives, based on pledges, to Ski for Heat participants. Money raised will stay locally, going to the heating assistance program of the CAA in which it was raised.

For more information, visit the website at www.skiforheat.org or email info@skiforheat.org.