Gabby Petito Foundation holds first fundraiser on Long Island; over $13K raised

PATCHOGUE, Long Island (WABC) -- Long Island native Gabby Petito's family is hoping to turn their personal tragedy into a positive for others.

That is the mission statement for the Gabby Petito Foundation, which hosted its first fundraiser in Patchogue on Sunday. The fundraiser started at 1 p.m. and there was music, raffles, food, and donations.

This comes after a watershed of tears following the young woman's tragic ending. What began as a cross-country tour with her boyfriend, to be documented on social media, turned into a missing person's case, which ended with the discovery of her strangled body out west in Wyoming.

On Sunday, those who loved the 22-year-old and those who just want to help, came out to give.

"We're here to raise money and have some good food and a good time in her memory," said event director Christian Cabrera.

Sunday's fundraiser raised $13,700 for the foundation, the family's attorney said.

Meanwhile, the search continues for Brian Laundrie, Petito's boyfriend, and now a person of interest. He returned to his parents' house in Florida without her, and without offering any answers.

ALSO READ | What Gabby Petito's death by strangulation could mean for Brian Laundrie's case
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