Groundbreaking for Sophie and Madigan playground set.
FREDERICK, MD. (LG) As efforts continue to build the Sophie and Madigan Playground, Chrissi Lillard, the Myersville mother of the two young girls who were killed in a house fire in 2013, uses her loss to help make memories for other families. She says the SAMP Compassionate Kids Club will be sponsoring an event Tuesday, May 1, 2018, for the Make A Wish Mid Atlantic Foundation.
”We are having a special showing of the movie CoCo at the MDL Holiday Cinemas, off of Baughman’s Lane, in Frederick. We will have goody bags for sale. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for five and under and all of the proceeds will go towards the Make A Wish Foundation to sponsor a wish kid,” she said.
SAMP stands for Sophie and Madigan’s Playground. It’s a free program for kids of all ages to come and learn about compassion.
Echo Morris, a SAMP volunteer says the movie COCO is a kids friendly Disney movie. “Sol if you are nervous about taking your kids to a movie theatre because they might be a little loud, it’s totally okay because it’s completely kid centered. It’s early in the evening so it won’t interfere with bed times,” said Morris.
Also on Saturday, May 5th, 2018, the kids club will be participating in an event at Children’s Hospital, in Washington, D.C. “It’s a free concert and everyone is invited,” continued Morris.
On January 31, 2013, the Lillard family of Myersville, Maryland was struck by unthinkable tragedy when a horrific house fire claimed the lives of their daughters Sophie and Madigan, killed the family’s four pets, destroyed their home and virtually all the family’s possessions, and hospitalized the surviving family members.
As Sophie and Madigan’s parents struggled to cope with the loss of their daughters, they looked for a way to honor the memory of Sophie and Madigan and pay tribute to the joy Sophie and Madigan brought their family and friends during their too short lives. Having lost all their possessions, the Lillards were left with no physical reminders of Sophie and Madigan…none of the toys Madigan and Sophie played with, the clothes they wore, their hand drawn pictures and art projects, their favorite books, handmade jewelry…the list goes on and on. The Lillards were struck by the harsh reminder of how important memories are, especially those memories that a family creates together.
At the same time the Lillards were coping with this horrible loss, they were touched by the outpouring of support provided by the greater Frederick County, Maryland community that was rocked by the tragedy.
The Lillards realized that by creating a memorial park and themed playground, they could create a place that honors Sophie and Madigan in a way that reflects their personalities and spirits, while at the same time provide the community with a place where children and their families could build memories together that last a lifetime.
The Lillards founded Sophie and Madigan’s Playground in June 2013. Sophie and Madigan’s Playground will honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan by providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together. This mission will primarily be accomplished by building a themed playground in a memorial park established for Sophie and Madigan Lillard.
Once the playground has been built, it is the vision of Sophie and Madigan’s Playground to continue providing opportunities for children and their families to build memories.
“The volunteers and officials with the City of Frederick are very excited about breaking ground in the next several months for the memorial playground that will honor the lives of 6 year old Sophie and 3 year old Madigan Lillard. We are so excited. Ground will be broken sometime this August or September. The playground will have everything put into it that Sophie and Madigan would have loved. It’s very themed out so when you walk in you will think you are transformed into another place. We have an area like ‘Wonderland, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the last section will be a fantasy land with a castle.”