Tulips called “Ethan’s Smile” are for sale at Tulip Valley Farms in Mount Vernon. Tulip proceeds will help fund scholarships for Skagit County students.
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Even in the hardest five months of their lives, Stacy Chapin and her family are moving forward, as she says her son Ethan will desire.
Stacy Chapin, Ethan Chapin’s mother, says: “You have to be persistent. “It was one of the first things we said to the kids when we met them on November 13th. It changed our family, but it wasn’t going to overwhelm us.”
November 13 was the day her son Ethan was murdered at a home near the University of Idaho, along with girlfriend Xana Kernodle and her roommates Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.
Chapin said: “You know, we’ve had years of grief, I don’t know what to call it. “I don’t want that to happen to anyone. We spent a lot of time with Hunter and Maizie trying to heal them.”
While Ethan’s sibling Hunter and Maizie are still attending the University of Idaho, this year Stacy and her husband are volunteering at the Tulip Valley Farm during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, helped sell tulips planted in Ethan’s honor, called “Ethan’s Smile. “
“He has a beautiful smile. Warm, kind, charismatic,” Chapin said. “There’s something about him, he was born that way.”
Ethan’s friends, whom he worked with at the tulip festival a few years ago, were the ones who started planting the flowers around town after he was murdered. He was a light-hearted co-worker and always a bit goofy.
“Ethan was one of those kids that the kids would call the scheduler and say ‘Book me when Ethan comes in.’ Ethan was a kid, you could ask him to take out the trash and you’d see him out there, jumping in the trash and singing a song,” Chapin said.
Many people, from former teachers to friends, have been able to go to Tulip Valley Farm and find some healing thanks to tulips.
“Honestly, it’s the best we can do besides being his voice and trying to do something positive on his behalf, create something positive in his name,” Chapin said. this situation.
Money from the “Ethan’s Smile” tulips will go to the newly established Ethan’s Smile Foundation, whose primary goal is to award scholarships to children in Skagit County.
“Honestly, my ultimate goal is to give a kid a full four-year education who wants to get into the University of Idaho,” Chapin said. “Our background is to take the kindness, enthusiasm, and purpose that Ethan has and try to give that to other kids. It’s the best we can do to fulfill his dreams and goals.”
While tulips will never be the same as seeing Ethan’s smile firsthand, it is a symbol of the joy Ethan has brought to the world. A joy that Stacy Chapin hopes will be made by others.
“You have to live your best life. Live like Ethan,” Chapin said. “I mean, we said it from the start, he just has a perspective, you know, take a moment, just take a step back and see the good in everything. .”
You can buy bulbs for tulips and other Ethan’s Smile products online at the Ethan’s Smile Foundation website. You can buy tulips, sweatshirts, and other Ethan’s Smile gear at Tulip Valley Farms.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is scheduled to run through April 30.