140619_HER07_34Martha Robertson

Age: 56
Hometown: Peru
Cause: Money for heating bills

Suffering through a long winter in 2001, Robertson decided she wanted to raise money to pay for at lease a portion of one Vermont family’s gas bill. She promised to do a personal cross-country ski-athon for a day and get her friends and family to donate money. Dubbing the cause Ski For Heat, she turned to BROC — a local community action group with a utility pay program — which helped promote her event. That first year, about a dozen skiers raised $10,000. Now, through word-of-mouth, it has grown to more than 120 skiers, expanded to other parts of Vermont, and raised over $300,000 for heating costs.

Says Robertson:

People enjoy living in Vermont, but you don’t come here to make big bucks, and sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet.”

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