Madigan was just three-years-old, and Sophie six-years-old. The Lillard family’s house caught fire back in January, burning a permanent and painful scar their family will bear forever.
“We were going through the process of dealing with the loss of our daughters, and at the same time facing the fact that we lost everything. We lost pictures; we lost Sophie and Madigan’s toys, the clothes they wore. We literally had nothing that belonged to them,” says the girls father Jack Lillard of Myersville.
That's when they got the idea of building a memorial playground. As the family copes, they say they’ve found passion in running with people in the community. They’re training for a half marathon, and raising money from it to build Sophie and Madigan’s Memorial Playground.
“It's amazing that this community is as great as we are, of course we are cause we're a small community, but the support has not stopped in six months, it has not stopped” says Vicki Younger of Frederick.
Member of the community came out to Chick-fil-A Wednesday for the family’s first fundraiser to help raise funds to build the playground.
“This is helping making money,” says Cali Sims. Her mother says she brought her kids out to support the cause after hearing about the fundraising efforts in the community.
The family says the playground is a way for them to give back to the community, and keep the one thing they have left of their daughters, their memories, alive.
“A place where families and children can build there own memories, which we learned how important it is to have those memories, those times with the children you spend at the playground,” says Lillard.
The family says the goal is to build an elaborate playground, and one that reflects Sophie and Madigan. It will have a princess and pirate theme, and will be built off Old National Pike on the West End of Frederick.
The family invites the community to come out for a celebration of Sophie and Madigan’s lives on Saturday September 28th at the Summers Farm in Frederick. They also encourage the community to come out to Baker Park on Saturday mornings at 8:30am to run with them. They are training for the race, and say people of all levels participate, so not to hesitate to join them.
For more information on Sophie and Madigan's Memorial Park or to make a donation, head to www.sophieandmadigansplayground.org
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