Our Mission

To honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan Lillard by building a memorial playground and providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together, and in ways that reflect the beautiful personalities and spirits of these two sisters.

Our Mission

To honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan Lillard by building a memorial playground and providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together, and in ways that reflect the beautiful personalities and spirits of these two sisters.

Background

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 created Sophie and Madigan’s Playground in June 2013 to honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan by providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together.

Our Programs

Park Project

Sophie and Madigan Lillard Memorial Playground will be a destination playground. The first in Frederick City to have fully accessible ground covering and other adaptations to ensure that kids of all abilities have the opportunity to play together!

Play

The PLAY Programs give kids and their families the chance to step outside of their daily routine to purposefully play and make memories together. Examples of this program include Kidstock, Celebrate PLAY, and the Sophie and Madigan PLAY Trail.

Learn

The Learn Programs teach kids and their families the importance of giving back to their community in big and small ways! We encourage kids to figure out ways to help their community in ways that allow them to take personal responsibility in our weekly SaMP Kids Club.

Create

The Create Programs are for families facing a loss or who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We strive to find ways to best support the family unit as they learn to live without their loved one here. Our focus is on unique opportunities, as well as educational and kid centered events.

Our Board

Sophie and Madigan’s Playground is governed by our Board of Directors, and operated by our amazing dedicated volunteers. Volunteers are comprised of friends, family, and strangers who have become like family.

Jack Lillard  

Board Chair

Jack Lillard is Sophie and Madigan’s father and co-founder of Sophie and Madigan’s Playground. Jack is the team coordinator for Team SaMP, the organization’s charity endurance and fundraising program.  

Jack is an Audit Manager at Cotton & Company LLP, an audit and accounting firm located in Alexandria, VA. Jack has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Maryland University College. Jack is an avid runner that has completed 9 marathons and 45 half marathons. 

Rebecca Pomato 

Treasurer  

Becky is one of the organizations founding board members and currently serves as the Treasurer 

Becky is Sophie and Madigan’s aunt and was honored to be asked to help in the creation of the organization. 

She will never forget being woken up in the middle of the night and being told that the girls were unaccounted for. In the time that has followed, she has developed a deeper appreciation for how important family is and how lucky she was to have had the opportunity to create memories with the girls.  

She is committed to helping others play, learn and create memories, through the building of the park as well as our programs and activities. Becky has a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University and is excited to use her 10 years of experience in the financial and accounting Industry to help the organization flourish.  

Danielle Kean  

Vice Chair 

Danielle joined the board in June of 2013. 

Danielle lives in Brunswick MD where she lives with her husband Larry and 6 children. Danielle met the Lillard family when Sophie was just 2 years old. Her daughter Madison and Sophie were fast friends and they enjoyed lots of fun times together.  

Before starting a family, Danielle worked for the Department of Defense. Danielle has also served on the board of directors for the Chromosome 9P Minus Network after her daughter Hayley was diagnosed in 2001. 

Jennifer Kuhn  

Secretary  

Jen is a founding member of Sophie and Madigan’s Playground. 

Jen met the Lillards through a local mom’s group when her son, Logan was about 1. Sophie was just 10 days older Logan. 

Through playground trips and hikes, she had the pleasure of getting to know Sophie and Madigan and their incredibly kind and happy personalities. Jen is honored to be on the board not only to help create an amazing playground for the Frederick community but also for the rewarding programs that the organization brings to the greater community. Helping to ensure that all families have access to unique programs that allow them to play learn and create together! 

 Jen lives in Middletown MD with her husband Ryan, their kids Logan, Megan and Sean. She is an active volunteer at Monocacy Valley Montessori and has held the role of Governing Council Chair. She received her degree in Business Admin with a minor in Peace and Conflict at Elizabethtown College. She had a career in Training and Development where she focused on organizational change, quality improvement, standard operating procedures, technical writing and facilitating.  

Stephanie Tucker 

Director 

Stephanie Tucker joined Sophie and Madigan’s Playground board of trustees in 2016 and brings her years of experience in donor relations from her work with the Bright Focus Foundation. She has an extensive background in sales and customer relations. Having managed two call centers. Her strive for excellent donor communications and relations has helped strengthen our donor and corporate partners.  

Stephanie has both served as a volunteer and a liaison between the board and the volunteer committee. She is involved in our Running for Sophie and Madigan team She looks forward to helping us achieve our mission to break ground on the memorial park and to continue the successful play learn create programs and events.