Emotional tribute lights up the night in honor of Gabby Petito

Residents placed candles and lights at the edges of driveways and on stoops in honor of Petito and her life.

News 12 Staff

Sep 24, 2021, 5:19 PM

Updated 1,028 days ago

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Gabby Petito’s hometown of Blue Point held an emotional and powerful tribute to honor her memory Friday.
The Shine a Light for Gabby fundraiser and vigil was set up earlier in the week.  Teal ribbons also line almost every street on poles, street signs and on trees.
Noreen Gibbons, who considered herself Gabby's second grandmother, says, "It's beyond amazing. It's just in life -- Gabby was a bright shining star. And now in her death she is the brightest star."
Gibbons, who is attending the tribute, says Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were supposed to end their cross-country trip at her home in Portland, Oregon.
Residents placed candles and lights at the edges of driveways and on stoops in honor of Petito and her life.
Jennifer Horton, of Blue Point, put lights outside her driveway to honor Petito.
"When the community loses one, we all do," says Horton. "So just remember the great life she had. Losing her so young and just to really celebrate her life."
Dorothy Johnson, of Blue Point, says, "For me it's important just to acknowledge Gabby, to support the family throughout the whole community, not only our community but throughout Long Island. Many people are lighting a candle." 
The organizer says she wants the Petito and Schmidt families to know that there isn't a door in the community that they can't knock on during their time of grief.
LIVE BLOG: Updates from the Gabby Petito case

The Shine a Light fundraiser is not the only way the Long Island community plans on honoring Petito.
Nearby, football players in the Patchogue-Medford School District will wear teal wristbands and dedicate their games to her this weekend. Those coming to watch the games are also asked to wear teal.
There is also a GoFundMe page to help the families.


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