This year’s fifth annual Country in the Rockies kicked off recently with the highest interest ever. More than 100 of the 250 guests were already checked in a day early. The majestic Rocky Mountains serve as a backdrop to the celebrity skiing, silent auction and special in-the-round private concerts by some of country music’s most talented singers and songwriters. The event, sponsored by BMI, benefits the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center. The laboratories are a division of the T.J.Martell Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for research in leukemia, cancer and AIDS. Some of this year’s participants include: Crystal Bernard, BlackHawk, Suzy Bogguss, Doug Crider, Chuck Cannon, Mark Collie, Billy Dean, Skip Ewing, Kathy Mattea, Delbert McClinton, Mindy McCready, Gary Morris, Gary Nicholson, Lari White and songwriter Jon Vezner. For daily updates and photos from the 12,000 foot peak of Crested Butte Mountain, log onto the T.J. Martell Foundation website at www.tjmartellfoundation.org.