Second Chloe and Liam Together Forever charity ball raises almost £30,000
Sweethearts Chloe, 17, and Liam, 19, who were both from South Shields, were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack in May 2017, which also claimed the lives of 20 others.
On Saturday, family, friends and other guests attended a second charity ball which raised £29,794 for the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.
Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham attended the night at Gateshead’s Hilton hotel, where the young couple worked, and presented a cheque for £1,000 from money he raised by running in the Boston Marathon.
Chloe’s mum Lisa Rutherford said: “The families are overwhelmed with the response and thankful to everybody involved.
“The amount of money raised is amazing. This was our second ball and it was very well attended with 19 tables of roughly ten people per table.
“We had fantastic entertainment from all local musicians including Stevie Tenant, Jamie Lee Harrison and Rivelino who all gave up their time.”
Mr Burnham also attended the ball last year. He pledged to support charities chosen by the families of all 22 people who were killed in the arena atrocity.
Chloe was a talented performer and Liam was a keen sportsmen. The Trust was started by their families to honour them and to inspire others to follow their dreams and achieve their goals by providing financial support for things including auditions, exams, coaching qualifications, and travel expenses.
Trust chairman Ray Spencer was the compere for the night which included auctions and raffles.
Liam and Chloe’s families thanked everyone who donated prizes and said on the Trust’s Facebook page: “We hope you’ve all had a fantastic night, you, have helped raise an incredible amount for the trust allowing us to support so many people to follow their dreams.”
A video, specially made by Gazette journalist Graham Murray highlighting how people have benefited from the Trust, was also played and went down well with guests.
Lisa said: “Often with charities you don’t get to see where the money is going. It was a lovely video full of people giving thanks and of them doing different events.
“It got a really good response.”