Almost 5 years later, family still fighting to honor 2 children killed

Three years after a family wanted to honor their daughters with a playground, they are still waiting for the land.

FREDERICK, MD (WUSA9) - After two parents lost their two daughters, they came up with the idea to build "Sophie and Madigan's Playground."

 

If you live in the Frederick area, chances are you've donated to the project.

 

Theres been a hold-up and were looking into why.


This idea started over three years ago with two people suffering the deepest pain a parent can.

"It's important for us to, you know,” said Chrissi Lillard before taking a deep breath.

Lillard is a mother. Her two little girls, Sophie and Madigan, were just six and three when they died in a devastating house fire Jan. 31, 2013.

"Sometimes we're triggered into just needing to be completely alone and it's a day full of tears and then sometimes it's a memory that makes you smile and laugh,” said Lillard.

"…when we first lost the girls, our biggest thing was we didn't want them to be our forgotten,” she added.

That's when the playground idea was born. They wanted to create a place where other families could build happy memories with their kids.

In 2014, WUSA9 was told the land owner who owns property at the Frederick VFW had stepped-up and donated some 10 acres of land. There was more $600,000 raised by the community. Still three years later, there’s still no playground.

"We are still trying to do this. We are hitting road blocks because the property that the city promised us isn't there yet and that's been a big part that's been confusing to people,” said Lillard.


The Maryland mom claims the owner of the land that was supposed to have been donated, still hasn’t handed that property over to the City of Frederick yet.  

 

An officer at the VFW said they doesn't know what the hold-up or future status of their VFW building is. WUSA9 reached-out to both Frederick City Parks and the landowner to find out more.

 

In the meantime, Lillard said they've made sure to keep their child programs running. She also said they're now applying to move the playground from the VFW to the West Side Regional Park System.

"We're really excited for we have in there for all age groups,” said Lillard discussing the Sophie and Madigan Playground design plans.


There's actually a park meeting about this expected to take place on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the William R. Talley Recreation Center.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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