Here at Macie Grace Foundation, we are driven by a single goal; to Make Every Day A Safe Day. We are committed to increasing awareness of playground safety, necessary to create and maintain a happy, fun and safe outdoor environment in an effort to prevent injury or death.
Why We Started the Macie Grace Foundation
On October 19, 2018, our spunky little firecracker, Macie Grace, tragically lost her life while playing on the playground at her favorite place, her preschool. Macie was on a new tire swing when it fell over with her and 2 other children on it. It was later learned that the tire swing structure wasn't installed according to licencing requirements. We also found out that there was no safety ground covering, just grass.
Her family and friends have come together to create the Macie Grace Foundation to bring awareness of playground safety to everyone. From backyard playgrounds to cities and schools, we want to help make sure that playgrounds are created and maintained to the highest standards.
MACIE GRACE FOUNDATION
Make Every Day a Safe Day
Macie Grace Foundation Board Members
We have a board made up of friends and family of Macie's. Below you will find small bios of our executive board members.
Johanna graduated with a B.S. in Recreation Administration from Cal State East Bay (formally Cal State Hayward) in 2005. She has worked in the nonprofit world since 2001. She has primarily worked with youth and children leading service trips to Mexico, New Orleans, New York and Uganda. Johanna and her husband Ryan live in Metro Atlanta with their daughter Esmé and son Kieran. Johanna feels privileged to be asked to help get this organization off the ground and bring awareness about playground safety to a larger audience.
Bridget, born and raised in Virginia, was an active pet therapy volunteer with Pet Partners starting in 2011 with her dog Sage. Shortly after starting down the path of Animal Assisted Therapy, she joined and chaired a local therapy dog group called Rappahannock Area Comfort Canines out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her life adventures then lead her and her second registered therapy dog, Ellie, to Nebraska and Arizona where they continued to serve those communities as pet therapy volunteers. Bridget and her husband, Ryan, have now settled down in Virginia where she stewards not one, but two Little Free Libraries in Macie’s memory. As Macie's Aunt "Bridgie" she is dedicated to keeping Macie's spunky legacy alive by ensuring we make everyday a safe day by advocating for our children's safety on playgrounds throughout our communities.
Erin, from Fremont, CA is a mother to three little girls, wife to a carpenter, and the Owner of Tranquil Finance Coaching. Her family became close with the Opperman's in 2015 when they enrolled their oldest daughters in the same dance class - sweet Macie was just a baby crawling across the studio floor. Erin has worked with other nonprofits such as Unravel Pediatric Cancer and felt called to volunteer her budgeting and financial nerdiness to the Macie Grace Foundation with the heart to honor Macie and protect all children’s safety while at play.
Sharon lives in Stafford, VA and wholly embraces the “Auntie” role for her own niece and nephew, and also the kiddos of close friends growing up. Sharon’s volunteer background began supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities locally, and she later served as a Board member of a local therapy dog group, where she and her german shorthair pointer met Bridget and her chocolate Labrador retriever, volunteering at events and for hospital visits. As a hobby photographer, Sharon was fortunate enough to capture the sweetness and strength of Macie and her family through generational photos. The brightness of Macie’s eyes, filled with curiosity and sheer joy around her family during the photo shoot made a distinct impact and desire to help ensure children are safe as they learn, explore and grow with their families.