CALGARY – Friends, family and strangers gathered together at a fundraiser this week in honour of five young Calgarians killed in a horrific mass murder.
Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27, were stabbed to death at a house party in Brentwood on April 15th.
On Wednesday, Zackariah’s mother attended a concert and silent auction at the Marquee Beer Market and Stage in honour of the young victims.
“One of my biggest fears… I read somewhere when you lose a child, the world will forget them,” explains Ronda Lee Rathwell. “Nobody wants to forget any of these kids. They were all so amazing. So events like this are good, it keeps their memory alive.”
The fundraiser, called Life is Beautiful, was held in an attempt to raise funds for the families of the victims.
“It was such an incredible tragedy,” explains Orgainzer Ryan Wildeman. “We want to help the families, that’s our main purpose behind this. We want to remember [the victims] in a happy way.”
It’s a gesture that Rathwell appreciates.
“I didn’t just lose my son,” she says. “The city felt the loss, and I think everyone in the city just wants to do something…”
In May, the 22-year-old man accused in the murders was found fit to stand trial.
“We’ve got a long hard road in front of us,” says Rathwell. “There’s going to be trials, there’s going to be all kinds of stuff.”
“We are just going to have to find a new normal.”