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Iris keeps memory of boy alive

Tue., July 17, 2007

Jordan’s Joy is a pale blue, tall bearded iris with a hint of silver and a streak of deep-blue running through its ruffled petals.

Named in memory for Jordan Mason, a 7-year-old Spokane boy who died in a boating accident on the Pend Oreille River last summer, the iris is one of 17 2007 introductory irises from Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, Ore.

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens has donated approximately 100 of the rizomes to Fourth Memorial Church for a fundraiser this Saturday, benefiting Riverview Bible Camp, where Jordan’s dad, Tim Mason, is camp director. The Jordan’s Joy iris will be sold for a suggested donation of $50, the retail price of this first season introductory bloom.

In addition, Tom and Lynn McRae are donating iris in a rainbow of other colors from their own extensive iris garden in Spokane, with a suggested donation of a few dollars each.

Naming an iris after Jordan was Tom McRae’s inspiration. An avid iris enthusiast and collector who has grown more than 100 varieties of iris, he wanted to find some way to remember Jordan and raise funds for Riverview Bible Camp. “We were really trying to come up with a living legacy,” says McRae, who suggested the name Jordan’s Joy because one of the fruits of the spirit is joy.

Last fall he contacted Steve Schreiner and after several months of correspondence Schreiner agreed.

“Normally we don’t name iris after people,” says Schreiner. “But Tom McRae is a very personable and persuasive man.”

Blue irises are a hallmark and strength of their garden says Schreiner, adding that he chose this particular iris because “the color makes you think of tenderness. It is a very touching, affecting color.”

The iris will be planted at the camp and at the Mason’s home. The McRae’s also intend to divide and sell it annually as a fundraiser for the camp, the third weekend in July.

Jordan’s Joy is just one of many ways friends, family and the church community have shown their love and support to their family over the past year, says Mason. In addition to the iris, a wrestling tournament was named for Jordan and a science room was built at the camp in his memory.

“They are trying to keep his memory alive,” says Mason. “So I’m very appreciative of that.”

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