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Gabby Petito Foundation Holds Fundraiser On Long Island

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There was a big turnout Sunday to support the new Gabby Petito Foundation.

Friends, family and supporters gathered in Patchogue, to raise money and awareness for domestic violence victims and missing people.

The event took place as Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, remains missing, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

READ MOREGabby Petito Search: Timeline Of Road Trip With Fiancé Brian Laundrie, Notable Dates And Events

Making good come from tragedy, hundreds packed the 89 North music venue in to support the first benefit for the foundation.

"Here on Long Island, we are a family. It's all about us coming together and coming together for a common cause," Centereach resident Rick Seward said.

"We are family. It's as simple as that," added Skip Swan of Blue Point, Petito's hometown.

Music and food were donated, raffles were sold, "Justice for Gabby" bracelets reminded everyone why they were in attendance.

"They see this on somebody's wrist and they remind people that this, hopefully, somebody who feels they need help to get out of a relationship that they might be in that they feel that they can't get out of," volunteer John Drews said.

A grieving community has found a way to help others before it's too late.

"It's bringing a lot more knowledge of how many people go missing. Maybe their families will have the closure that they need," added Blue Point's Donna Wilhelm.

READ MOREGabby Petito Died By Strangulation, Wyoming Coroner Finds

Closure is still a long way off for the Petito's family. Her death was ruled a homicide by strangulation, Laundrie is still missing, or rather, hiding, said Nichole Schmidt, Gabby's mother, in an interview with "60 Minutes Australia," adding, "They believe the Laundries know where their son is, something their attorney denies."

"I think silence speaks volumes. I believe they know, if not everything, I think they know most of the information and I would love to just face to face task, why are you doing this? Just tell me the truth," Schmidt added.

READ MOREAttorney: Gabby Petito's Fiancé, Brian Laundrie, Flew Home After Moab, Utah Police Encounter

The case is still garnering attention around the globe. Gabby's disappearance was first a mystery -- a cross country adventure, an engaged couple sharing happy posts -- with the search for Laundrie into its second month and the only crime he is charged with is illegally using her credit card. Gabby's parents are looking for justice.

"I don't want to say he's insane or anything because he ... went home, he's hiding, he used her credit card. That's not someone who went crazy. He knows what he's doing," Schmidt said.

The Petito's foundation will bring help to other victims in dangerous relationships.

"Through donations, like today, we will hopefully be able to directly help women and individuals that are in abusive relationships," attorney Rick Stafford said.

READ MOREBrian Laundrie Went Camping With Parents After Returning Home Without Fiancée Gabby Petito

The event raised nearly $14,000 that will seed scholarships in Gabby's name. The family says they are driven to make Gabby's life matter by helping others who don't get this kind of support.

Petito's parents were not at the event. They were just returning from Wyoming, where they retrieved Gabby's remains and visited the location near where her body was found.

For more on the Gabby Petito Foundation, please click here.

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