[R434R, Sugar Mountain Resort]'s resident mascot, Sugar Bear, and long-time ski patroller Fay Binning visited a local elementary school to teach third- and fourth-graders the seven points of safety on the slopes.

Students at the Valle Crucis Elementary School then spent a day on the slopes.

After the classroom talk, and the on-snow experience, the kids created safety posters as part of a Kids National Safety Poster Contest.

The posters reflected one or more of the seven elements of the Skier and Rider Responsibility Code or one of the three elements of Smart Style Freestyle Terrain Safety.

Three winners from each class won prizes donated by Alpine Ski Center, Ski Country Sports, and Sugar Mountain.

The poster contest was sponsored by the National Ski Areas Association.

"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 kids can't wait for their posters to compete in the national competition in Lakewood, Colo., and are hoping for a first time-ever national winner from the state of North Carolina. Local winning posters are currently on display in Sugar Mountain Resort's base lodge and in the Valle Crucis Elementary School.

More information. Or call 828-898-5737.