Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '05 final update -- Thai One On for Relief worth supporting, and our final event picks…

Thai One On for Relief fund-raiser happening at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to raise funds for tsunami victims. Plus, we wrap up our recommendations for the must-attend events at Winter Market.
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Thai One On for Relief
Outdoor industry companies have joined forces to distribute colorful scarves, sewn in villages throughout Thailand at Winter Market. The scarves, of varying sizes, will be available for minimum donations ranging from $10 to $50 with all proceeds from this effort going to the Red Cross Tsunami relief effort.

Eaglespeed Marketing, a Thai-owned and based outdoor apparel manufacturer, spearheaded this project by traveling to Thai villages, buying the scarves and sending them to contacts in the outdoor industry.

"I was in Thailand recently and met with my friend, Aroon Wangbunyen, owner of Eaglespeed," said Gaston Macmillan, materialogist for Mountain Hardwear. "We agreed we wanted to contribute to the relief effort in a way that would allow the Thai people to help as well." Macmillan and Wangbunyen drew inspiration from the Lance Armstrong Live Strong bracelet project.

"We have purchased a total of 4,700 scarves from villagers so far," said Macmillan. "If we sell out, we'll import more to sell at other venues."

A number of outdoor industry companies have already agreed to assist in the effort to distribute the scarves and collect donations at Winter Market. Tie One On for Relief scarves can be found at the following booths: Mountain Hardwear, #3645; Bemis, #3597; Big Agnes, #121; Kelty, #1127; SNEWS®/GearTrends®, #3370; and at the OIWC Gathering on Monday night.

Paige Boucher of Mountain Hardwear told us that she is looking for more exhibitors willing to support the cause by offering scarves in the booth for sale during Winter Market. If you are willing to support the effort, please contact her by phone at 970-291-4125 or by email at boucher@springsips.com.

Naturally, all the events at Outdoor Retailer have worth, or they wouldn't be scheduled, right? Well, OK, maybe worth is a relative term. Our team has poured over the litany of events, book signings, parties and scheduled debauchery and the following are our final -- and we mean it this time -- picks of those we believe are absolutely worth your valuable time:

>> Peter Potterfield will debut his new book, "Classic Hikes of the World, 23 Breathtaking Treks" ($40, W.W. Norton), during a special book-signing fund-raiser at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30. The book signing will be hosted by Kelty (booth 1127), an active sponsor of Potterfield's explorations since 2001. All proceeds from book sales at the event will benefit the Conservation Alliance.

>> A fashion show? In Salt Lake City? Believe it and it could be very entertaining -- harkening back to the days when SIA used to put on wild and boisterous affairs that had the crowd buzzing. We'll see. Over 125 outdoor manufacturers submitted product including Patagonia, Sierra Designs, The North Face and Horny Toad, plus newcomers to Winter Market such as Shwalla, Trailheads and Weekendz Off. Open to all show attendees, the stage will be set in the southeast corner of the Salt Palace Ballroom with Fashion Shows occurring twice daily, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with one only on the last day of the show at 11 a.m. Professional models will be working the runway wearing next season's fall/winter/holiday apparel, footwear and accessories. The show will be broken into eight sections including sponsored segments from Royal Robbins, Ex Officio and Spyder, plus themed presentations including sweaters, rugged outerwear, casual, base sport and technical outerwear. What, no underwear?

>> You can't go wrong with Anchor Steam beer and a chance to win a free Timbuk2 messenger bag. Check it out every day (well, the first three days of the show anyway) at booth 2436, and yes, you have to be present to both drink, and win.

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