“Since losing her eighteen months ago, it’s just been a whirlwind of crazy. And I stopped trying to guess how I’m going to feel about anything in life. How I feel is how I feel. I put on her Diamond  and I was just like…it’s really her. She’s really here. It made me want to get on a plane, go to Orlando, and get on the Velocicoaster, so she could finally ride it!”
- Danette Goad, Ally’s mom 

Imagine taking a stroll along the lake and discovering a rock painted to look like a happy little sunflower peeking out from beneath a dock. Or adventuring in Universal Studios, and finding a rock version of the pink and green birthday cake Hagrid made for Harry Potter. All over the world, these little gems are tucked away in the most unexpected places, sporting all kinds of artwork, from colorful illustrations to positive affirmations. While each rock is unique, there’s one thing they all have in common. A shared hashtag: #TeamAlly. 

Happy Birthday Harry Ally Rock in Universal Studios, Florida.

What is it about these painted rocks that makes them so extraordinary? 

Well, they’re for an extraordinary girl. Her name is Allyson Goad. 

“Ally was the kindest, most warm-hearted Slytherin I ever met,” shares her mom, Danette. “She was ambitious. And loving. She kept us on our toes.” 

In case it isn’t obvious, Ally was a diehard Harry Potter fan. Just ask her beloved pup, Padfoot. Her bedroom is an homage to the series, featuring wands, a model of Hogwarts, and corkboard of pins Danette continues to collect for her. “I can’t go to Universal and not get her a pin,” she says. 

As much as Ally loved the wizarding world, her own world was even bigger. She was in her second year at Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC). Her goal? Designing furniture using wood and metal. 

“She was always our artist,” states Danette. “She was a welder. She loved anything she could do with her hands.” 

Friends together at Universal Studios, Florida.

An artist herself, it’s no wonder Ally’s legacy has touched the hearts of artists around the world. Although these painted rocks are beautiful, their origin is the stuff of nightmares. Ally’s adventure was cut short when a drunk driver crashed into her truck September 11, 2021. 

“I doubt myself all the time on whether or not I should have started this organization,” admits Danette. “It’s really hard to grieve when it’s shoved down your throat every single day. I’m not just a grieving parent. I’m a grieving parent who is, every day, figuring how to keep her daughter's legacy alive.” 

The Rocks

Ally’s death occurred just one month before the family’s planned trip to Universal Studios. They went, hoping that revisiting Ally’s favorite place would make them feel closer to her. While there, a friend gave them twenty painted rocks with instructions to hide them in various places around the park. “After a tragedy like this, you’re so numb, you just do what people tell you to do,” says Danette. “We hid the rocks and it was strangely therapeutic.” 

Kermit the Frog Ally Rock.

Now, eighteen months later, thousands of artists have joined Ally’s family in hiding rocks to share her story and bring brightness to the world, in true Ally fashion. “I never knew it would be common knowledge that my daughter loved giraffes or sunflowers,” shares Danette.

While the rocks are hidden all over the globe—124 destinations across 15 countries—Danette sticks mainly to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Her reasoning? “If I hide a rock in Oklahoma, maybe I can reach an Oklahoman. But if I hide a rock in Universal Studios, I can eventually reach the whole world.” 

The Mission

AllyRocks 405 is a nonprofit whose mission is to spread kindness while raising awareness for drunk driving to prevent other families from experiencing this unimaginable heartbreak. 

Woman in the woods wearing flower crown.

“Our eventual goal is to partner with ride share programs such as Uber and Lyft, and provide rides home,” states Danette, who was once a bar manager. “Just think if a bartender could just grab their own phone and type in AllyRocks, and the ride is on us.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drinking and driving kills 32 people a day in the U.S. That’s one person every 45 minutes. More than ten thousand lives lost per year.

In addition to making travel safer for everyone on the road, Danette has another mission. “There are enough organizations out there working to change the laws. I just want to keep Ally’s memory alive, and for people to be more socially aware of their decisions.” 

“That’s our mission. Making people happy, spreading kindness, and giving them a piece of Ally.”

Ally’s Diamond

When asked how it feels having Ally’s Diamond home, Danette has one word: “Heavy.”

Ally's diamond.

Danette first discovered the possibility of growing an Eterneva Diamond from her daughter’s ashes just two days after the fatal accident. “I was mindlessly scrolling on TikTok by a bonfire in a fire pit that Ally built. And then one of Eterneva’s lab techs popped up on my screen, saying, ‘I can make diamonds from people’s ashes.’ I was like… ‘I’m sorry, what?’” 

Ally’s Diamond is blue. The color of peace. And the sky. And water. “That girl lived on the water,” recalls Danette. “She was my water baby. If she wasn’t at a pool, she was at a lake. If she wasn’t at a lake, she was at the ocean.”

For the setting, Danette designed a ribbon with red diamonds to signify drunk driving awareness. 

Family photo at the pool.

What makes the Diamond even more specific to Ally? Engraved on its edge is the sentiment: “Until the very end.” It’s a quote spoken by Harry Potter’s father, which speaks to unconditional love, the inevitability of death, and our acceptance of it as such. 

Join Team Ally

Ally’s magic was bringing people together. 

“She never met a stranger,” says Danette. “Once you were Ally’s friend, you were family.” 

Join #Teamally Spread #Awarenessforally Learn from her story #Allyrocks405 Ally Rock.

In addition to spontaneous rock drops, AllyRocks 405 has several events throughout the year, including an annual scavenger hunt in May. 

Even after she’s passed, Ally’s magic lives on in the hearts of all who hide their painted rocks, and those who discover them. Joining the movement is easy. All you have to do is find a rock, some paint supplies, and the belief that, one hidden gem at a time, you, too, can help make the world a little more magical. 

AllyRocks has communities on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram with the handle @allyrocks405.