Emilio DaBramo '48 Noted for Fitness Initiatives

Emilio DaBramo '48 Noted for Fitness Initiatives


The U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) on May 7 paid tribute to Emilio “Dee” DaBramo ’48, a physical activity activist and educator for special populations, as one of its five 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award winners.

DaBramo and the others were recognized at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., which, not by coincidence, took place during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. DaBramo has been ill and was unable to attend but he was represented by his family at the ceremony.

“The efforts of these pioneers have been momentous in expanding our nation’s accessibility and passion for health and physical activity,” said Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council. “These five individuals have been leaders in their respective fields and have selflessly dedicated their careers to promoting healthy, active lifestyles.”

Presented annually since 2007, the Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition-related programs nationwide. Recipients are selected by members of PCFSN based on the span and scope of an individual’s career, the estimated number of lives they have touched and the impact of their legacies.

A longtime educator and administrator in the Mamaroneck (N.Y.) Union Free School District, DaBramo has dedicated his life’s work as a teacher, administrator and international authority figure to promoting physical activity among youth and special populations. He served as a member of the Joseph P. Kennedy Special Olympics Advisory Board and as a clinician for the Special Olympics and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

DaBramo family accepts award
The children of Emilio "Dee" DaBramo attended the May 7 ceremony in Washington, D.C., to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN). Present, from the left, were Shellie Pfohl, PCFSN executive director; Dominique Dawes, PCFSN co-chair; Debbie DaBramo-Buckley; Michael DaBramo; Shelly DaBramo-O'Malley; Jim DaBramo; and Howard Koh, M.D., assistant secretary for health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

As president of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, DaBramo also is well-recognized for establishing the program called A Place where People Learn Excellence (APPLE), which guides underprivileged students toward a higher education.

DaBramo joins a very highly respected cohort. Also honored that day were: Ruth Alexander, a pioneer of women’s intercollegiate sports; Kirk Bauer, the executive director of Disabled Sports USA; Moo Yong Lee, a ninth-degree black belt Grandmaster; and Antronette Yancey, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

The President’s Council engages, educates and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. The council is made up of athletes, chefs, physicians, fitness professionals and educators who are appointed by the President and serve in an advisory capacity through the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The council has its origins in 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness. The cabinet-level body had one specific objective: to be a “catalytic agent” concentrating on creating public awareness on the fitness of American youth. The PCFSN received a new name and expanded mission under President Barack Obama.

DaBramo previously has received many honors relating to his SUNY Cortland connections. He was presented a 1994 SUNY honorary doctorate at a the College's Commencement, made the 1948 C-Club Hall of Fame, was a 1969 Distinguished Alumnus, was an emeritus member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and was a member of the Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity.