Gabby Petito Foundation: Family Announces Future Memorial Fund

gabby petito foundation

Instagram Gabby Petito in her last Instagram post./Gabby Petito in Arches National Park during her final road trip with Brian Laundrie.

The family of Gabby Petito is requesting donations for the future Gabby Petito Foundation, and asked in her funeral announcement that donations be sent through the Johnny Mac Foundation in lieu of flowers. Read on for more information about the foundation and her family’s plans to preserve her memory.

Petito, 22, was found dead Sunday, September 19, 2021, in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She was reported missing 10 days after her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23, returned home from a road trip without Petito. Officials are conducting a manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve, a swampy nature preserve in Florida.

An arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie Thursday, September 23, 2021, related to Wyoming federal court allegations on the use of “unauthorized devices” following Petito’s death, according to NBC News. Officials told NBC that the arrest warrant is related to allegations he used a debit card he was not permitted to use, and is not directly related to Petito’s death.

Petito’s funeral will be open to the public, her family announced. The funeral and visitation will be held at noon Sunday, September 26, 2021, at the Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook.

Here’s what you need to know:

Donations Can Be Made Online to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation Through the Johnny Mac Foundation

The family of Gabby Petito is in the process of creating the future Gabby Petito Foundation, her father, Joseph Petito, wrote on Twitter. However, donations can be made through the Johnny Mac Foundation, a memorial fund set up in the memory of John F. McNamara, an FDNY firefighter who died at age 44 from cancer related to his response at Ground Zero for 500 hours following September 11, 2001, according to the National Fallen Firefighters Association.

Joseph Petito shared a link to the Gabby Petito Foundation website Saturday night and wrote on Twitter about the organization.

“The Gabby Petito Foundation. No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby,” he wrote.

The family said donations will be used for “family expenses” on the donation page. Joseph Petito asked that donations be made to the Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of flowers.

“In lieu of flowers for the service, please send donations for the Future Gabby Petito Foundation through the Johnny Mac Foundation,” he wrote on Twitter, sharing donation links, along with a photo of his daughter with angel wings and a halo. “We Thank you for all the support.”

Donations can be made through the Johnny Mac Foundation here or through PayPal here with a note to send funds to the Gabby Petito Foundation.

Gabby Petito’s Mom, Nichole Schmidt, Is a Volunteer & Board Member for the Johnny Mac Foundation

Schmidt was described as a “longtime volunteer and current Johnny Mac Board Member” on the Johnny Mac Foundation website. Schmidt is listed as a board member and community liaison on the website’s board page.

“Gabby is the daughter of longtime volunteer and current Johnny Mac Board Member Nichole Schmidt. Any funds donated using the following link will be used for family expenses,” the website says, along with a donation link.

The foundation was formed based on McNamara’s final wishes, which his wife, Jennifer, found after his death, according to the Johnny Mac Foundation’s mission statement.

It says:

The Foundation’s mission is to honor the essence of who John was and carry on his inspiring work – not only to see the Community Center project grow to fruition, but to continue the selfless spirit of Johnny Mac by supporting other organizations dear to his heart- groups dedicated to the support of Firefighters and First Responders.

After John died, hidden in his hospital bag, Jennifer found a list of things John wanted her to do if he did not survive. One of those things was to have a community center built in Blue Point, New York where John, Jenn and Jack lived. Jennifer formed the FDNY Firefighter John F. McNamara Foundation, also known as The Johnny Mac Foundation, to fulfill that wish. The Foundation is now tirelessly working to build the community center that John envisioned which will stand as a cornerstone of the community, family, and camaraderie just as John had.

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