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Ernie's Elmira Legacy - Part 3

1961 Heisman Trophy Winner Ernie Davis

Editors Note: This is part three of a four part series on the legacy of Ernie Davis in his hometown of Elmira, New York. This is to show the very prominent position Ernie Davis still has in Elmira today, as well as lead up to the world premier of The Express in Syracuse, New York on Friday September 12th. Part one can be found here, part two can be found here.

While Ernie Davis has been gone from this earth for many years now, his legacy obviously lives on. Now in this instance, when I say legacy I am not talking about his great football playing, or even the fact he was a Heisman Trophy. Rather, I am talking about his legacy as a good citizen and a hard worker.

In Elmira, a mere half a block from the Ernie Davis Middle School at 362 East Fifth Street is the Ernie Davis Community Center. Here there are several activities for local youths, including mentoring and tutoring, martial arts, cultural dance, seniors program, daily recreation, educational programming, arts and crafts and field trips. It is here that the true reputation of Davis lives on. He was just as well known for being a gentleman and a scholar as his football playing.

This is where the continued message that education will get you everywhere lives on in Davis’ memory. Kids in the Elmira community have many doors opened to them because of the Ernie Davis Community Center and they will continue for many years to come. This is exactly what Ernie would want to be remembered for, even over the Heisman Trophy.

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