CALGARY – Thousands of people gathered together at an emotional tribute concert held on Thursday in honour of five 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.
The High Hopes fundraiser at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium paid tribute to the young victims, and helped raise money for scholarships created in their honour.
Their families were in the audience, and are still overcoming the pain of losing their children.
“I still cannot work. I cannot go back and work,” says Marlene Hong, mother of Lawrence Hong. “I want justice… that closure. I know Lawrence [doesn’t] want me to be sad, but I still want that closure.”
Kyle Tenove and Barry Mason, who used to play in the band Zackariah and The Prophets with both Hunter and Rathwell, helped to organize the event.
Both men took to the stage as part of their new charitable organization, aptly titled Zackariah and the Non-Profits.
“I’m still dealing with the fact that I don’t have a son to give a hug to, and tell him how proud I am of him and how much I love him,” says Bruce Rathwell, father of Zackariah Rathwell. “I have a big empty heart right at the moment.”
“I just don’t want anyone to forget them…any of them,” adds Zackariah’s mother Ronda-Lee Rathwell. “They were all such amazing kids… all of them.”
– With files from Jayme Doll