Gifting back

Altruism spreads as the swag-o-rama hits another high in the Rockies

When Sundance staffers were asked to give festgoers advice this year, they insisted, “Give all your swag to charity!”

If that’s going a bit too far, there’s still reason to feel good while swagging it up at Sundance.

Most of the sponsor venues seem to have added charitable causes to their list of things to promote at the fest. Official fest sponsor Volkswagen got a jump on the good works last year by auctioning off a Jetta hood signed by celebs. All proceeds benefited the Sundance Institute. VW will be at it again in 2006 with a new Touareg parked in front of its lounge at 301 Main Street. But it won’t be the only one.

Across the way, Gibson Mountain Lodge at the Miners Club will host latenight guitar jam sessions and auction an autographed instrument to raise funds for hurricane relief org Music Rising. Down at the bottom of Main, Village at the Lift is backing a couple of causes: the brand hub’s Frigidaire suite will give celebs the option of donating to the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, benefiting children’s charities. VAL also will donate auction items to Olympic medalist Picabo Street, who is hosting a Ski Challenge to raise coin for Children’s Advocacy Centers and abuse victims.

LUXE LIFE: Attempt to snag a gift bag valued at $25,000 — featuring the new BlackBerry 8700c and Marquis Los Cabos resort (below) packages — at the Ultimate Luxury Lounge & Spa at the Silver Queen Hotel on Main. Goody bags with celebrity autographs will be auctioned to benefit Inner-City Filmmakers and Fertile Hope. Auction goes live on AOL starting Sunday.

WALK THE TALK: Buy an Egyptian Theater pin. Entertainment Weekly, a 15-year sponsor of Sundance, is raising funds to refurbish the Park City landmark. Pin will be sold at the Egyptian and a few other local retailers for $5, with all proceeds going to the “Preserve the Egyptian” fund. EW also kicks off its “Entertainer With a Mission” program by honoring Robert Redford at the fest this year and donating big bucks to the Sundance Institute.

AIR LIFT: Go heliskiing with the Wasatch Powderbird Guides and North Face pro athletes and discover some of Utah’s most pristine and untouched slopes — all for a good cause. By teaming up with the Conservation Fund, an environmental nonprofit protecting America’s land and water, North Face has pledged to plant a tree for every guest who visits the sportswear brand’s house during the Sundance fest.

HEART STRINGS: U2 guitarist the Edge’s new charity Music Rising raises funds to replace the lost instruments of musicians affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Gibson custom made this multicolored guitar for the cause.

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