Families of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry speak of pride as South Tyneside remembers much-loved teenage couple
Today the borough will turn pink and blue as family, friends and the community come together to celebrate the lives of the teenage couple, who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack in May 2017.
Chloe, 17 and Liam, 19, were among the 22 people who tragically lost their lives at an Ariana Grande concert.
Each year, on May 22, they are remembered on what has become known as Pink and Blue Day, which sees South Tyneside unite in wearing the colours associated with the pair.
Given how this year’s anniversary is taking place during lockdown, Chloe and Liam’s families are asking people at home to raise a glass to the couple at 10.31pm.
Speaking on behalf of the two families, Chloe’s mum, Lisa Rutherford, said: “Lots of people have been getting involved in Pink and Blue Day.
“We have been quite overwhelmed, under the circumstances it has been brilliant.
“Social media has gone a bit crazy with it, which has been lovely to see.
“We are asking people to remember them and to wear pink and blue and maybe decorate their homes to mark the day.
“We are just really proud of our community coming together to remember the kids.”
Previous years have seen thousands of pounds raised in their memory for the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust – a charity set up by Chloe’s parents, Lisa and Mark Rutherford, and Liam’s mum, Caroline Curry.
The Trust is a lasting legacy to Chloe, who was a talented performer and Liam, who was a gifted cricketer who played for Marsden Cricket Club.
It grants bursaries to help aspiring young performers and sportspeople on their way to fulfilling their potential.
But despite the uncertainty of this difficult time, a number of people have still come forward to offer support to the charity by fundraising, so that it can continue its life changing work once it is able to.
Lisa said: “For people to still be donating at this difficult time is just phenomenal, it is just amazing.”
So far, the Trust has helped around 130 applicants – a mix of both individual young people and community groups that have an impact on dozens of young lives, helping an even greater number of people in the borough.
Lisa said: “It is a massive amount – 130 is the amount of applications we have helped and that includes groups such as boxing clubs, so a lot more people have benefited.
“Until this [the pandemic] affected everyone, we were doing really well.
“Applications were getting bigger each time, which shows people are aware of what we do.”
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