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  • Welcome to the VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports

    Who We Are
    The Governor's Council is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of approximately 20 volunteers, appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters.

    Our Mission
    To promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

Emina Burak 1950-2011

Emina Maria Ibragic-Burak was a beautiful, strong and loving woman who brightened every room she entered and every life she touched. Her life was tragically cut short in a car accident on Aug. 9, 2011. She was born in Werfen, Austria, on March 30, 1950, to Idris Ibragic and Maria Herzog and spent her early years in Tenneck, Austria, before moving with her family to Chicago.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in health education, her Master of Science in community health education and did post-master’s doctoral course work at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. In 1983 she accepted the position of director of the Student Wellness Program at the University of Vermont, and from 1994 until last month, she directed and coordinated the university’s Faculty and Staff Wellness Program.

Beginning in 1984, Emina became an adjunct lecturer with the university’s Department of Education and Social Services. She was planning her fall courses at the time of her death. In connection with her teaching, she published a Peer Wellness Mentoring Workbook and developed a Healthy Workplace Culture Resource Manual.

Emina was the owner of Workplace Health Design: Integrated Health Management Services and a frequent presenter of workshops and seminars on a variety of wellness topics here in Vermont, nationally and internationally. She was a frequent and popular speaker at the annual National Wellness Conference in Stevens Point, Wis., and presented at the First African Wellness Conference in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She was the recipient of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Gold Worksite Wellness Award from 1997-2008. She also served as a hard-working member and chairwoman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She was a member of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and co-chair of Get Moving Chittenden County for the United Way of Chittenden County and Get Moving Vermont for the Vermont Department of Health.

Most recently, Emina joined Children of the Earth in 2009, initially as a volunteer to coordinate volunteer projects such as Bear Hugs for Haiti and the annual International Day of Peace Youth Event and, most recently, as that organization’s director of administration and development.

The honors received by Emina and accolades accorded to her are too numerous to mention here. She lives on in the hearts and minds of all those who experienced her loving kindness and gentle guidance. She leaves her revered mother, Maria “Oma” Ibragic; two beloved children, Meghan and Gavin McCormick; a devoted and loving husband, Michael L. Burak; two beautiful stepchildren, Michael and Meredith Burak; four siblings, Christa, Tina, Nura and Kemi, and their respective families; and her former husband, Rodney McCormick.

No words can convey the love and appreciation and the loss that is felt by her family, legion of friends and her most devoted and loyal friend, Dexter. Her adventures and journeys to the far corners of the globe with her soul mate, Mike, will remain in his heart forever.

Most recently her passion, enthusiasm and intensely focused energy was harnessed on behalf of the international family established by Nina Meyerhoff as the Children of the Earth. Emina’s family asks that all those touched by Emina’s spirit and passion gather together for a time of love and remembrance at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, this Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, at her family home located at 31 Dunder Road in Burlington.

In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to Children of the Earth and mailed to 26 Baycrest Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403.

Published in Times Argus and Burlington Free Press from August 13 to August 14, 2011.



Statewide — Fifth-grade Hyde Park Elementary School student Madeline Waterman tells other Vermont kids to “Be Active, Fit and Healthy.” Brattleboro friends Annie Takacs, 11, Bella Takacs, 8, and Rei Kimura, 7, wear fruit costumes and sing a song to convince their peers to eat colorful produce. Children enrolled in the Hiawatha Kindergarten After School Program in Essex Junction show that moving more is “easy as ABC.”

These Vermont kids turned their messages into video announcements for the Vermont Fit & Healthy Kids Winter Challenge, a contest hosted by the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. About 150 children created 33 videos submitted for the contest. The videos were submitted in three categories: Move More, Eat More Colors and Turn off the Screen to be active. All of the videos are posted at http://vermontfitness.org (Pull down the Fit & Healthy Kids menu and click on Winter Challenge entries). The videos will air on public and educational access cable stations statewide. Viewers voted for their favorite videos, and council judges assessed the strongest messages and most creative efforts.

Participants won certificates of achievement and FlipVideo cameras compliments of the council, lift tickets from Ski Vermont and sports gear donated by Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont Recreation and Parks Association, Girls on the Run Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health. The children received the awards on April 5 at Hyde Park Elementary School.

About 100 people attended the awards event. The videos created by Vermont kids played on a large screen. Cross-country skiing champion Marc Gilbertson, coach at Craftsbury Nordic Center, teacher at Lamoille Union Middle School and participant in the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, spoke about the importance of staying fit and being confident. Ski Vermont, Concept 2, River Arts of Morrisville, Copley Hospital, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Stowe Pediatric Outreach Project and Fit & Healthy Lamoille Valley provided demonstrations and exhibits.

Vermont Fit & Healthy Kids Winter Challenge proactively addresses obesity in Vermont. More than a fourth of the state’s children are overweight for their age and height, and only 27 percent of Vermont students get the recommended minimum of one hour of exercise daily, according to the state health department. Through the contest, the council intends to engage young Vermonters in conversations about how to be fit and healthy.

“We decided that we should take our own advice and are now on a daily basis taking a break from computer work to do stretches. We are moving, and you got us thinking,” said Barbara Flack, Multimedia and Design Instructor at Green Mountain Technology and Career Center in Hyde Park. More than 20 students from the center created three videos for the contest, winning a FlipVideo camera for the Multimedia and Pre-technical programs.

Contest entry titles, participants’ names and affiliations and awards follow.

Category/Title Submitted By # of Votes Award
1 Move More Training Video Greg Baker YMCA After School at Bolton – 5 children 1st Place Team:Teamwork & Enthusiasm
2 Yoga is Good 4 U Ambiana Snow Glavin Worcester -1 child 36  First Place Individual:Showing Knowledge of Topic
3 A Fit & Healthy Vermont Theresa Bertram YMCA After School at Fairfax – 16 children 23  First Place Team:Showing Knowledge of Topic
4 Be Active,Fit & Healthy  Madeline Waterman Hyde Park Elementary School 4H Leadership – 9 children 1 Second Place Team:Creative Use of Medium – 5 students
5 Active Activities Maddie Vear “””” 1
6 Play Sports Amber Bowen “””” 2
7 We’re Healthy Kids Emma Olson “””” 1
8 Exercise is Funand Brad Luck, Essex Junction Hiawatha Village Kids – 10 3 First Place Team:Creative Use of Medium
9 Choose To Be Active “”” “” Fleming Village Kids – 10 4
10 TagMove Ian Sudol, Alec Brown, Riley Costello, Kyle Perry, Kyle Maskel, Joey Hoadley, Patrick Ashline, Jaron Stowe, Cole Mason Green Mountain Technical Center – Multi-Media and Pre-Tech – 9 students 4 First Place Team:Powerful Message
11 Get Up Dylan Cramer CVU HS – individual -1 child 1 First Place Individual:Creative Use of Medium
12 Vermont Healthy Kids Brad Luck, Essex Junction Hiawatha Village Kids Kindergarten – 10 students 6 First Place Team:Inspiring Viewers to Move More
13 Lose Fat Fast Sage & Aiden Gongloff-Piché East Calais – 2 children 0 First Place Individual:Powerful Message
1 The Take Over Hugh & Connor North Stowe – 2 children 30l First Place Individual:Creative Use of Medium
2 Eat a Rainbow Maraika Lumholdt Sports Nutrition Class at South Burlington H.S. – 1 student 4 First Place Individual:Powerful Message
3 Stay Healthy Brianna Severance Fuel Up to Play 60 Enosburg Elementary School – 3 children 40  First Place Team:Creative Use of Medium
4 P1020133 0 First Place Indiv: Knowledge of Topic
5 Eat More Colors by Veggie Heads Veggie Heads: Annie Takacs (11), Bella Takacs (8), Rei Kimura (7) Brattleboro – 3 children 21  First Place:Inspiring Viewers to Eat More Colors
6 Garden Goodies Elias Gillen Johnson – 1 child 7 First Place Individual: Showing Knowledge of Topic
7 Eat More Colors by M Patch Michael Patch Hyde Park Elementary School 4H Leadership – 2 7 First Place Team:Powerful Message – 1
8 Choose Healthy Food Brad Luck, Essex Hiawatha Village School – 10 1 First Place Team:Teamwork & Enthusiasm
9 Fruit Smoothie Final Lance Caron, Kassandra Mason, Dylan Peake, Steven Mossey, Amanda Hall, Maya Greenia, Effie Parot, Leah Belrose Green Mountain Technical Center – Multi-Media and Pre-Tech – 8 Students 0 First Place Team:Creative Use of Medium


1 Get Off It Jared Lussier Hyde Park (HPES student)- 1 child 0 First Place Individual: Showing Knowldege of Topic
2 This Or That Boys & Girls Club of Brandon – 5 First Place Team: Powerful Message
3 Be Fit, Have Fun Helen Sawyer Cabot – 1 child 4 First Place Team: Powerful Message
4 Turn Off the Screen Cal Heffernan & Connor O’Toole South Burlington – 2 children 0 First Place Individual:Creative Use of Medium
5 Healthy Shutoff Rhiana Kellogg Hyde Park Elementary School 4H Leadership – 9 children 1 First Place Team:Teamwork and Enthusiasm – 4 students
6 Jump Rope Hannah Bora Hyde Park Elementary School 4H Leadership 1 “””
7 Turn It Off, Go Out and Play Madeline Waterman 1 “””
8 Get Off the Computer Brad Luck, Essex Summit Village Kids – 10 4 First Place Team:
9 Turn Off the TV and Get Outside Brad Luck, Essex Hiawatha Village Kids – 10 1 Showing Knowledge of Topic
10 Screening Robert Luten 1 student 0 First Place Individual:Creative Use of Medium
11 Unplug Allison Foster, Ahley Abare, Devlin Long and the pre-tech team GreenMountain Technical Center- Multi-Media and Pre-Tech – 3 + ? 0 First Place Team:Inspiring Viewers to Turn It Off & Be Active



April 5: Video Contest Awards and Celebration

Celebrate Vermont’s Fit & Healthy Kids Winter Challenge Video Contest 

Tuesday, April 5, 3:30-5:00

Hyde Park Elementary School gymnasium

Everyone is welcome!

Video contest winners will be announced and prizes given: FlipVideo cameras, ski lift tickets and more!

Special Guest: Marc Gilbertson, Cross-Country Skiing Champion

Exhibits by Ski Vermont, Fit & Healthy Vermont, Concept 2, River Arts, Helmet safety experts and fitness pros

Questions? contact videocontest@vermontfitness.org

Move More! with Fit & Healthy Vermonters

Move more this winter! Please enjoy the following exercise video created by HOPSports, in conjunction with the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, with an introductory message from Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

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Janet Franz - March 24, 2011 - 11:02 am

Learn Jenny Blake’s moves and teach your friends — Let’s all move together!

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