Parents of Liam and Chloe 'overwhelmed' as charity smashes £700,000 fundraising milestone five years after Manchester Arena bomb attack

The parents of South Tyneside sweethearts Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry say they have been left overwhelmed as a charity created as a lasting legacy to their beloved children smashed a £700,000 fundraising milestone.

Liam and Chloe Together Forever Trust has passed its latest fundraising milestone.
Liam and Chloe Together Forever Trust has passed its latest fundraising milestone.

It was a bitter sweet moment for the young couple's families as they made the announcement at the third Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust ball held at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, hosted by presenter Anna Foster.

The charity, which provides support to aspiring sportspeople and performers through the use of bursaries, was launched five years ago in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bomb attack, on May 22, 2017, which tragically cut short the lives of Chloe, 17 and Liam 19.

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The couple, known as 'South Tyneside's sweethearts', had been enjoying an evening at the Ariana Grande concert on the night of the atrocity, which claimed the lives of 20 others and left many more injured both physically and mentally.

Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford.
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However, despite their own heartbreak and grief, Chloe's parents Mark and Lisa, and Liam's mam Caroline, were determined something positive would come out of the darkness and a lasting light would shine for their two children through the Trust.

Speaking on behalf of both families, Liam's mam Caroline said: “We will never find the words to convey how broken our lives became the night we lost our beautiful Chloe and our handsome Liam. But we were determined that something positive would come from that horrendous atrocity, something that would portray what our children were like - kind, generous, loving and so talented, Chloe with her performing and Liam with his cricket.

“Five years ago the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust was born and to be able to say we have now reached £700,000 with our fundraising, we are just overwhelmed and so proud beyond words to have achieved such a huge amount so soon.

Emily Tiffin, Chloe's dad Mark Rutherford, Liam's brother Zack Curry, Lee Tiffin and Eilish Tiffin.

“But it couldn't have been done without the amazing fundraisers we have, from buying a ticket for the raffles, a number on the blind cards, a seat at the ball, to actually running their own events, a million thank yous to each and everyone of you, from the bottom of our broken hearts, we thank you all for taking our beautiful and perfect Chloe and Liam to your hearts.”

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A further £37,000 was raised on the night of the ball, which featured comedians Mandy, Bryan James and Ben Ashurst and popular South Tyneside band Rivelino.

The Trust's young ambassador James Bassett provided music for the drinks reception. There was also a performance by the Pocket Rockets.

Caroline added: “We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the ball and helped us to raise such an amazing amount which will go towards helping so many children and young adults follow their dreams.

Chloe's aunt Caren Rowe, second right, with students from her dance school
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“We would like to also thank the Hilton Hotel who have supported us as families from the start, Emily Rugg who runs the entire show to perfection and to volunteers Mercedes, Maddie, Liam and Jake who gave up their time to sell raffle tickets, table prizes and so much more and One Stop Events for the decor – we couldn't have done the night without all their help.”

For information on the charity visit the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust on Facebook.

Members of Dance Advance