'Heartbreaking stories': Gabby Petito Foundation board member lays out mission of helping others

A board member of the foundation, Gary Rider says they have been reading emails that have been coming into them.

News 12 Staff

Oct 8, 2021, 12:50 AM

Updated 1,020 days ago


Gabby Petito’s parents created a foundation in their daughter’s name to help others get home safely.
News 12’s Eileen Lehpamer spoke to one of the board members of the organization to get new details on how it works.
Gary Rider is a long-time family friend of the of the Petito and Schmidts.
“We’re really trying to look at cases of missing people and domestic violence and we realize it’s a very big umbrella,” Rider says.
The Gabby Petito Foundation is a registered 501c3 and recently posted its mission statement. It says it will provide funding for already established organizations that “support locating missing persons and to provide aid to organizations who assist victims of domestic violence situations through education, awareness and prevention strategies.”
One such foundation is the AWARE Foundation of Virginia, which helps create posts and blast it out to a big network of people that have resources that have connections with law enforcement and other agencies that can help families.
Rider says they have been reading emails that have been coming into them.
“Heartbreaking stories out there, it just makes you really aware of what is going on around us,” Rider says. “I have four daughters myself and I can’t imagine what the family was dealing with right away and to try to get help, how frustrating it is.”
Rider tells News 12 Petito’s family wants to support domestic violence resources and missing person because they know realize Petito and her fiancé's relationship was toxic even though they had not seen the signs before.
An upcoming fundraiser in Patchogue will raise money for the foundation.

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