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Run, club facility both honor Johnson

Sun., May 2, 2010, midnight

The committee for the 2010 Jordan Johnson Memorial Fun Run/Walk are, from left: Desiree Barclift, Cameron Barclift, Cyndie Johnson, Cameron Chesnut, Aubree Chesnut and Ryan Davis.
The committee for the 2010 Jordan Johnson Memorial Fun Run/Walk are, from left: Desiree Barclift, Cameron Barclift, Cyndie Johnson, Cameron Chesnut, Aubree Chesnut and Ryan Davis.

Jordan Johnson was a high school student who loved life, family and community, who gave back with a smile, and had dreams and goals, says Ryan Davis, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County.

“Jordan was the type of young man that we try to develop with programs at the Boys & Girls Club,” Davis said.

This is the reason the 2010 Jordan Johnson Memorial Fun Run/Walk was named after him. The event will be Saturday at 9 a.m., at the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls.

The walk/run, in its second year, begins at the infield of the Greyhound Park and heads west on the Centennial Trail. Participants can choose between a 5- or 10-kilometer distance, and there will be a special 1-mile run for children 11 and younger.

Last year, more than 100 runners participated, netting $2,000 that was used for club programs which served more than 500 youths. Money raised this year will again go toward club programs.

Davis says that the club is in the middle of its capital campaign and that nearly $1.7 million has been raised so far. A little more than $1 million is left to reach their goal.

“Our goal is to break ground as soon as possible,” Davis said.

The ground lease has been secured through the city of Post Falls and blueprints are completed, in addition to securing Polin & Young as the construction company, according to Davis.

Currently Boys & Girls Club programs are being held at the Post Falls Church of the Nazarene.

“When the new facility is complete, we will triple our space from 6,800 to 18,000 square feet,” says Ryan.

The new facility, the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County Jordan Johnson Center, is being named to honor Johnson, according to Davis.

On Nov. 26, 2006, Johnson diedfrom HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick. He was on vacation with his family in the Virgin Islands, when he had a heart attack and died. He was 15.

According to his brother in law Cameron Barclift, Johnson was healthy and there was never a clue that anything was wrong.

“The impact of Jordan’s passing was astounding,” Barclift said.

People still come up to Barclift and tell him stories of how Johnson would make them laugh, give them a high five, or tell him about of the kind things he did when no one was looking.

“Jordan had an impact on more lives in the short time he was here, than most people have in their entire life,” says Barclift.

A few months later, on April 29, 2007, Jordan Johnson’s father, Tom Johnson, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Mexico, while on vacation with friends and his wife Cyndie.

Tom Johnson was a successful land developer and builder, but more importantly, he served the community in a variety of organizations and always was willing to give without question, according to Barclift.

“If it involved people, Tom loved it. He was the man you wanted to be like,” says Barclift.

Although Cyndie Johnson suffered serious injuries in the motorcycle accident, she has since competed in triathlons and a half-marathon.

“Cyndie’s spirit cannot be broken, and she continues to surprise everyone with her ability to achieve and compete,” says Barclift.

After Jordan Johnson’s death, Ron Nilson and Jae Enos, local businessmen and close friends of the family, decided they wanted to do something to honor Jordan, according to Davis.

They led a successful community campaign and raised more than $400,000 with the goal of placing Jordan Johnson’s name on the Boys and Girls Club future home.

“This was done to honor Jordan, but also because Nilson and Enos felt it was what Tom, his father, would have wanted,” says Davis.

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