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 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, has been an active pet therapy volunteer with Pet Partners since 2011 starting 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 current registered therapy dog, Ellie, to Nebraska and Arizona where they continue to serve those communities as pet therapy volunteers. 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 community playgrounds.
Erin, from Fremont, CA is a mother to three little girls, wife to a carpenter, and the Special Projects Department Coordinator at a Bay Area Glass & Glazing company. 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 learning to crawl at the time. Erin has been working with a nonprofit, Unravel Pediatric Cancer, for the last 3 years as part of a team that coordinates an annual large fundraiser. The Harmon’s are big Dave Ramsey fans and have been debt free since 2015. Erin felt called to volunteer her budgeting and financial capacities to the Macie Grace Foundation with the heart to honor Macie and protect all children’s safety while at play
Melissa, born and raised in Fremont, CA is a single mother of two girls Teagan (5) and Josephine (4). She has been working in licensed child care facilities since 2002 and currently holds the position of Infant-Toddler/Preschool Program Coordinator at Palo Alto Community Child Care where she supervises 9 licensed infant-toddler & preschool programs. Melissa has volunteered for Unravel Pediatric Cancer since 2016, as their Social Media Lead and Co-Chair for their Mama’s Night Out fundraising event. As an active community member of the early childhood field she felt called to bring her skill set and knowledge to the Macie Grace Foundation to ensure all children are provided a safe environment to play.