Notable Community Members

The Dodie Harris Award

 Dodie and Tony Harris and their family were very active members of the community during the 1980s. Dodie ran a small gift and craft shop from an outbuilding on their property she called "The Grey Goose." Dodie was also very active with youth hockey, Ithaca HS Tennis Boosters, and the PTA Council. Dodie and Tony were also involved with the Fairs, working in a variety of capacities over the years from the food and dried flower booths to the white elephant booth. They were always ready to pitch in when help was needed.



In December 1989, Dodie and Tony Harris and their children, Mark and Shelby, were robbed and murdered. Their tragic and senseless deaths shocked and saddened the community and put Ellis Hollow in the national news for a brief time. A month later, the perpetrator was identified. He died resisting arrest. In 1990, a community service award was established to posthumously honor Dodie Harris who had made so many contributions to the community. This award, presented at the Annual Spring Chicken Barbecue each year, recognizes Hollow residents who have provided notable service to the community in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is conferred. The recipients of the award have been:


1990 - Dodie Harris, awarded posthumously

1991 - Marc Walker, Bill Brown

1992 - Jan Shay

1993 - Mary Helen Cathles

1994 - Tony and Janice Bretscher , Barb Batley

1995 - Joe Lalley, Dave Schlesinger, Mike Murphy

1996 - Anne Kendall Casella

1997 - Bill House

1998 - Mary Royer, Susan Lang, Tom Schneider

1999- Bruce Howlett

2000 - Lynne Mellinger

2001 - Doug Long and Glen Howser

2002 - Marcy Schaeffer

2003- Owen Raymond, Glenn Henderson, Alex Burdick


The Don Lake Endowment


In the wake of the tragedy which took the lives of Dodie Harris and her family in 1989, an endowment was made to the Community Center by Don Lake, father of Dodie Harris. Mr.Lake donated $10,000. to the Ellis Hollow Community Center. The gift had no restrictions. On November 11, 1990 the Board of the Community Center formally approved arrangements for managing the Don Lake donation. The Board voted unanimously that the money be invested in an endowment fund, and that the Board of Directors use the interest each year in a discretionary manner to fund proposals received from the community. On March 13, 1991, the Board approved the following uses and restrictions of the endowment and interest:


  • For projects in the spirit of the Harris' commitment.
  • For projects that would benefit the entire Ellis Hollow community (social events, newcomer activities, etc.).
  • For projects that would improve the buildings, grounds, or athletic facilities at the EHCC.


Each year the forms are mailed out to all members of the community in the November and December issues of the Gazette. Proposals are received by January 31st and voted upon for the upcoming year by the Ellis Hollow Board.


EHCC Disbursement of the Don Lake Endowment 1992 a utility trailer for use by the EHCC and Boy Scouts

  • 1993 painting the exterior of the community center
  • 1994 a bike rack at the center and materials needed for the nature trail
  • 1995 the endowment was used as seed money for the Harris Family Skating Rink Fund for the facility that was built on East Lake Drive in Ithaca.
  • 1996 a kiosk to display and store interpretive guides for the nature trail
  • 1997 repair of the playground and replacement of crushed stone in the driveway
  • 1998 lighting for the skating rink; surplus funds were to be used to offset the cost of brush hogging the rink
  • 1999 replacement of plantings in front of the Community Center. The original plantings were overgrown and had been victimized by deer. The plantings are in memory of A.W. Dimock.
  • 2000 a new carpet and mats for the community center
  • 2001 four new picnic tables for the pavilion
  • 2002 a roof over the new barbecue pit.