SaMP Kids ~ Middle Ridge Farm

In January and February, SAMP Kids Compassionate Kids Club partnered with Middle Ridge Farm and Rescue in Middletown! Whitney case to speak to our club and the kids decided that a service day at the farm would be a great way to help them!

Last week, the kids got to the farm and realized horses are a lot of work! They worked hard shoveling manure, hay and wood chips, moving full wheelbarrows out to the dumping area and back until one stall was all clean! We definitely want to come back and help out the rescue again!

Other ways you can help the farm is to adopt! While you may not have the space or ability to adopt a horse, they’re always adopting cats and even a pig! Also, like, follow, and share their Facebook page and participate in any fundraisers you’re able to! Currently, they have a fundraiser with Usborne Books & More which are great for kids! Stop by the farm, check out their Facebook page, see Libby at Kids Club, or message them if you would like to participate!  If you’d like to learn more about Middle Ridge Farm and Rescue please visit their website at

Our next meeting is scheduled for March 5th ~ we will have a presentation by Make A Wish and hear ways for the kids to get involved. Please stay tuned for a possible location change as we try to find a space that works well for our whole group.

We are still looking for organization to help us close out the school year. If you have ideas or if your organization would like to be involved please send me a message! chrissi @ sophieandmadigansplayground. org (no spaces)

Sophie & Madigan’s Playground at West Side Regional Park

Sophie and Madigan’s Playground is excited to have received approval from City of Frederick Parks and Rec to put our destination memorial park on this property. Just one more step – approval of our MOU by the Mayor and Board to be official! We will post updates as they become available.

More information visit

Five years ago

Five years ago two of our beautiful girls we taken from us. Half our family gone in the blink of an eye. Our sweet and giving Sophie. Our precious spunky Madigan.

Five years ago we lost our pets. Our Kenny and Creedance the cats Jack and I got when we first moved in together. Our Raff the kitten we raised from the time he was born. Our puppy J.Humphrey who we got to help sooth the broken hearts of 3 little girls who lost their big buddy Baxter, our mastiff, just months before.

Five years ago we lost our home and every possession. No more coming home to the house where all of our babies were born.

Five years ago we lost our identity.

Five years ago at this very moment I sat in shock and confusion still covered in soot and ash my hair crisp and tangled struggling to take deep full breaths of air.

Five years ago at this very moment my oldest daughter was in a medically induced coma. The drone of the machines in the PICU helping my tiny girl breath ringing in my ears as I sat terrified we would lose her too.

Five years ago at this very moment I sat desperate to be comforted by Jack but he was all alone in another icu for the burns and inhalation from trying to save our babies.

Five years ago I thought I could never make it through one more moment.

Five years ago I couldn’t feed my baby.

Five years ago our family was shattered, nothing could ever be the same.

Today we are overwhelmed by the continued support of our friends, families, and strangers who have one family along the way. We know despite our devastation the girls are not forgotten. We know that our mission to honor them by helping to build an amazing park, and stronger family bonds through our programs is making a difference in our community and that means more than we can express. This journey has not been easy, there are days when taking one more step feels impossible but we are stronger because of your support. 💙💗

Run like a Princess 1k

With our Disney Princess Half Marathon team gearing up to leave for Disney in just a few short weeks we held our local sister run Run like a Princess 1k! It was a gorgeous unseasonably warm 1k around Baker Park ~ We had an amazing team this year who worked hard to raise just over $1500 dollars to bring our Princess fundraising total to $23,663 as of today! Untitled

SaMP Kids

We are looking for organizations who are interested in presenting their needs to the SaMP Kids – Compassionate Kids Club at the beginning of each new project. Do you know someone who has a need that we might be able to help with? Presenters would need to be able to join us at a meeting at the The Common Market Co-op on Monday’s between 4:30-5:30.

September – Blessings in a Backpack, Frederick, MD
October – Building Veterans
November – SHIP of Frederick County
December – Country Meadows of Frederick(12/4 card making & 12/11 caroling)
January/February – Middle Ridge Farm & Rescue(1/22/18 -2/12/18)
March – Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic (3/5)
April – TBD
May – TBD
June – TBD

SaMP Kids is a weekly service based group with the goal of teaching kids that their acts of compassion both big and small can make a big difference in their community. The kids choose the project for the month and work together on each step to figure out how to make the project a success!

SaMP Kids group is open to everyone, even if you didn’t start this months project we have a place for you! We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming number of kids who come out to help and look forward to our group continuing to grow.

Walt Disney Marathon Weekend

We are incredibly excited to share the news that that our Team SaMP runners at this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has already raised nearly $28,000 for Sophie and Madigan’s Playground!!!!

45 runners from 17 different states will be running for Sophie and Madigan at Disney World over the next 4 days. To each of you, we can’t express enough how thankful we are that you chose to run and fundraise for Sophie and Madigan’s Playground and help us honor Sophie and Madigan by providing opportunities for children and their families to PLAY, LEARN, and CREATE memories.

Please share our excitement for Team SaMP by wishing them all happy running as they begin their races tomorrow through Sunday. And there is still time to support any of the Team SaMP runners by donating at:52

Park Update ~ Moving to WSRP

Thanks to the The Frederick News-Post l for helping us share the most recent park updates. Thanks to Bob Smith at City of Frederick Parks and Rec for working with us to make the changes and to get the girls park moved to “Butterfly Ln” it couldn’t be in a better location

“When a devastating house fire near Myersville killed sisters Sophie and Madigan Lillard nearly five years ago, their family members developed a plan to honor their memory through the construction of a destination playground.

After years of unwavering love and support from the community, the three-phased playground is making serious headway at a new planned location in the future Westside Regional Park at Hargett Farm in Frederick.

“It’s been five years since the girls passed away and we’re ready for something to be here for them,” said Chrissi Lillard, the mother of Sophie, 6, and Madigan, 3.

Roughly five months after the Jan. 31, 2013, fire, the nonprofit Sophie and Madigan’s Playground was formed to raise money for the playground through fundraisers geared toward the girls. The fundraisers have included pirate- and princess-themed 5K runs and “Pink Friday” events that raised money for the cause through a portion of Black Friday shopping profits at local businesses. Community members also participated in runs to raise awareness of the girls and the cause, and Lillard said a team is raising money to participate in February in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Disney World on behalf of the nonprofit.

Lillard said about $400,000 has been raised for the playground. And once the current plans are finalized at the Westside Regional Park site, Lillard said she and the fundraising team can begin soliciting donations from corporate sponsors.

The playground was originally set for inclusion in the planned West Park Village development on the site of the VFW clubhouse and golf course on Old National Pike. While awaiting the developer’s dedication of the land to the city, however, Lillard said the other location came up as a better fit.

“It was purchased by a developer around the same time that the girls passed away,” Lillard said of the land inside the future West Park Village.

“They promised we could do it there, but the developer still hasn’t dedicated it to the city. Until that happens, it still isn’t available,” she said. “We went to the city several times and hoped something would pop up.”

The Board of Aldermen approved a plan for the multi-use Westside Regional Park on roughly 130 acres of vacant city-owned farmland along Butterfly Lane at the beginning of the year that includes a spot for a destination park.

Bob Smith, the city’s deputy director of parks and recreation, said members of the Westside Regional Park Task Force and the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission have discussed dedicating land for the playground inside the park. He said the idea received favorable recommendations from both groups and officials are working up a memorandum of understanding between the city and the nonprofit to build the playground on what Smith said is a “small footprint” of the site. The playground is tentatively slated for what is known as the “Festival Area” of the regional park, which is adjacent to Butterfly Lane just east of the farm structures.

Smith said he hopes construction of the playground will begin in the summer. Lillard said the playground company informed her it will take about a month to put the equipment in.

“Hopefully the first phase will be finished in fall of 2019. That would be really great,” she said.

The latest blueprints for the playground include three different “lands” — Fantasyland, Neverland and Wonderland — made up of custom equipment, and details reflecting the girls’ spirits and personalities.

“It is all completely themed to those things the girls really enjoyed,” Lillard said.

She said she hopes to break ground on Fantasyland first, which she called the center of the project.

Fantasyland is princess-themed and set to include an enchanted castle, pumpkin carriage, hidden dragon, woodland cottage, whimsical swings, and horses adorned with Sophie and Madigan’s favorite things. Neverland has a pirate theme and will include amenities such as a pirate ship, lost boys club house, skull rock, zip line, mermaid lagoon, hidden treasures and Tiger Lily village. Plans for the “Alice in Wonderland” themed Wonderland include a tea party spinner, rabbit hole log, mushroom house, large butterfly and flower shades, card soldier maze and a Red Queen flower garden. The entire playground is multi-aged and will include accessible ground coverings and transfer platforms.

Lillard said she is glad the playground is finally coming to fruition and looks forward to breaking ground.

“The park has always been our central mission,” she said. “We want the park to be there as a physical reminder to the girls.”

Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska”