A tulip farm in Skagit Valley is celebrating the life and memory of former team member Ethan Chapin, one of four University of Idaho students stabbed to death in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13.
Tulip Valley Farms designed a unique tulip bulb combination called Ethan’s Smile that will be available for purchase and viewing when the yearly flowering starts in April.
“This a sign that is providing some brightness and pleasure at an otherwise very sad time,” said Tulip Valley Farms CEO Andrew Miller in an interview with The Bellingham Herald.
Miller characterized Chapin as a team player and someone who never complained because he was “too busy smiling” while he worked on the farm.
“He was easy like a Sunday morning — constantly gliding around,” Miller recalled. “Ethan’s grin was one of the things that were unforgettable about him.”
Reese Gardner, a former co-worker of Chapin at the tulip farm, came up with the idea to remember Chapin with tulips. The tulip bulb combination is yellow and white, hues Miller said are crucial because they signify joy and eternity. These are also two of the school colors of the University of Idaho and the Conway School in Mount Vernon, which Chapin attended.
The farm will also be selling Ethan’s Smile stickers and clothes. All of the earnings will go to Chapin’s family and to constructing community gardens in his memory.
Chapin’s parents, Jim and Stacy, are volunteering to help sell Ethan’s Smile flowers and clothes at the farm during the tulip festival.
“Over the previous several months, we’ve heard from folks globally. For many, the tulips signify a type of healing and we also feel it helps others recover when they see us,” Stacy Chapin said in a statement to The Herald.
“These tulips are a physical object to cherish year after year in our gardens and remember about Ethan,” Stacy Chapin said.
The University of Idaho Alumni Association will be presenting a Vandal Sunset Picnic and Night Bloom hosted by Tulip Valley Farms on April 9 as a chance for university alumni in Western Washington to join together to commemorate Ethan.
The other victims in the murders were the University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, and Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho.
A 28-year-old graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman has been charged with their killings.
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