Haitian orphanage is dedicated to American

  • Updated: January 6, 2013 - 6:05 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - An American family who lost their daughter in a massive earthquake in Haiti three years ago has finished building an orphanage in her memory.

The parents of Britney Gengel led about 150 family and friends, including U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., in a solemn ceremony Saturday at the Be Like Brit orphanage in the coastal town of Grand Goave. "It was a beautiful ceremony and had a great dedication," said her father, Leonard Gengel, 52, of Rutland, Mass.

The $1.8 million, 19,000-square-foot facility has seismically resistant walls and a medical clinic. All the money came from donations.

Built in the shape of a letter "B," the orphanage will house 33 boys and 33 girls, representing the number of days Britney's body lay under the rubble. Gengel was a 19-year-old sophomore at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., who had gone to Haiti to hand out meals for a Christian charity. She died when the hotel where she was staying collapsed.

Haiti will mark the quake's third anniversary on Saturday.

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