It was a Beautiful Memorial for Chris

An outpouring of people came to Taughannock Falls State Park this evening to celebrate the life of Chris Dennis.


The North Point Pavilion was packed to capacity as videos and photos of Chris were shown.


Chris had a passion for adventure and for making a difference in the world, which were shown in the videos and the words spoken about him by his family and friends. He loved life, was happy, and inspired those he met to love life too.

Chris was always moving his body in dance, free-style skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing, and many other outdoor activities. Chris could ham it up and also be serious about the state of humanity. He was a talented videographer and dedicated activist.

The memorial concluded with a silent walk along Cayuga Lake and then a pot luck dinner.


Chris took some time-lapse photos the morning of May 22, and left them on his camera, on the shore that were put together with music by his brother and shown as the final video of the evening.

We will miss you Chris Dennis. We love you.

Updates and an Invite

From Danfung Dennis: “To all volunteers: We have discussed as a family that we would like to scale down volunteer search efforts. The police will keep a small presence on the lake and we encourage hikers and kayakers to continue to keep an eye out over the next weeks, but please take the day off tomorrow and come celebrate Chris’s life at 5:00pm. Thank you, everyone. We are so grateful for your support. We’ll continue to share updates.”

Update to volunteers from John Dennis: “We have two fishing boats going out tomorrow (5/27) from Treman Marina and Myer’s Point at 7:30/8am. With no wind they should be able to run sonar to continue searching for Chris.”

Please join us! Come celebrate the life of Chris Dennis, Monday, May 27, 5pm at Taughannock Falls State Park, North Point (second entrance north on Rt 96. Admission fees waived after 4:30pm). Please bring a dish to pass, if you you are able. Plates and utensils provided. See photos of the places Chris has been and the lives that he has touched. Memorial walk along the lake. Dress casual.

Please see this rideshare form, please self-organize. We suggest a Cornell departure from The Schwartz Center.

More Help Needed Sunday, 5/26

GROUND SEARCH: Volunteers are meeting at 10am at Sheldrake Point. Please join us in the search today for Chris Dennis along the western shore of Cayuga Lake. If you come later in the day, check in with the coordinators at Sheldrake Point to receive instructions.

WATER SEARCH: Once again, because of high winds, kayaks are not allowed unless taken out by someone professionally trained wearing a wetsuit.

Chris’s family and friends are extremely grateful for the support of a caring community. The search is ongoing and law enforcement is committed to continue at least through Monday, as are volunteers. If you have any questions or information please call or email our contacts:

Donations are being collected to help the Dennis family fund a private search. You can give through Paypal at the link below or by cash or check by emailing Every little bit helps. Thank you.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Memorial Gathering Monday, May 27, 5pm, Taughannock

From Danfung Dennis:

An informal memorial gathering will take place for Chris at 5pm at the North Pavilion at Taughannock Falls State Park, tomorrow, Monday, May 27th.

Bring a dish to share for a potluck dinner and please dress casually.

From Ithaca, enter the park on the second right after the bridge. Admission fees will be waived after 4:30pm.

Our family would like to thank all the volunteers for their efforts.

Update from Saturday’s Water Search (5/25)

Chris’s brother, Danfung Dennis reported last night:

“Using commercial sonar on civilian ships we located five foreign objects at various depths today. We coordinated with the Sheriff to bring an underwater robot with cameras. The objects were just logs, rocks, and part of a railroad trestle.  We will resume with a full effort tomorrow, then reassess the situation at 1pm on Monday. Thank you for all of your support. It’s been incredible; our family really appreciates it.”