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Banner Elk Fourth Graders Learn About Skiing and Snowboarding Inside and Out; One Wins Sugar Mountain Season Pass

Resident mascot, Sugar Bear and long-time, Snowsports School director, Len Bauer, visited the Banner Elk Elementary School to teach fourth graders about slope safety. The students then spent a day on the slopes which kicked off a three week fieldtrip program. Following their time skiing and snowboarding, the children participated in the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) Kid’s National Safety Poster Contest. Each student created a poster based on one or more of the seven elements of the “Your Responsibility Code” or one of the three elements of the “Smart Style” Freestyle Terrain Safety Program.

Last week, winners were chosen and awarded prizes donated by Alpine Ski Center, Ski Country Sports, EDGE of the WORLD, and Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. The top posters from Mrs. Rhoades’s class were 3rd place Noah Reep, 2nd place Salem Wellborn, honorable mention Caroline Lusk, and 1st place Judah Martinez.

First place winner Judah Martinez had this to say when asked, “Why are slope safety rules important to you?”: “They are important because they tell everyone how to be safe, and if they were not there, others would get hurt, injured, or bruised. Because they are there, people are able to have a good time and enjoy snowboarding and skiing.”

A 2020-21 Sugar Mountain Resort season pass was awarded to Somer Burleson, who was randomly chosen from the twenty five posters submitted.

“The contest not only promotes slope safety but also teaches the positive values of outdoor winter recreation. It serves as one of the many tools which strengthens our bond with the community,” said Sugar Mountain Resort president, Gunther Jochl.

The students can’t wait for their posters to compete in the National Ski Areas Association’s national competition in Lakewood, Colorado and are hoping for a first time-ever national winner from the state of North Carolina. Winners of the national contest will be announced by April 1, 2020. Local winning posters are currently on display in Sugar Mountain Resort’s base lodge and can be found on Sugar’s website.

The poster contest was developed by the National Ski Areas Association as part of an ongoing safety awareness program. Its mission is to promote skiing safety awareness and education to elementary school children, to support classroom curriculum related to sports, health, and safety, and to give kids a chance to have fun and be creative while learning about slope safety. Additional information about the NSAA Kid’s National Safety Poster Contest can be found here or to learn more about slope safety please visit www.skisugar.com/safety.

Sugar Mountain Resort is North Carolina’s largest snow sports resort and offers skiing and snowboarding spanning 125 acres with 1200 vertical feet of descent, ice-skating, tubing, and snowshoeing. For additional information please browse www.skisugar.com.

First place poster: Judah Martinez

Second place poster: Salem Wellborn


Third Place poster: Noah Reep