Cherylann Gengel

Cherylann Gengel has devoted her life to her family: Britney, Bernie, Richie, and now her sixty-six children at Be Like Brit in Haiti. Cherylann has always been very active in her community. She served as President of the Rutland Parents Teachers’ Organization, Treasurer of Rutland’s Youth Baseball, and helped create Rutland’s Recreation Committee. She served as a member of St. Vincent DePaul, and volunteers at many organizations like Project 351, Net of Compassion, and the Worcester’s Women Leadership Conference, to name just a few. 

For more than eight years, she owned and operated the popular Grand Slam Café in Rutland, MA, where David Ortiz, Trot Nixon, Doug Mirabelli, and Kevin Youkilis would stop by and say hello. 

In 2010, tragedy struck and her daughter Britney was killed in the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Cherylann along with Brit's dad, Len, co-founded The Be Like Brit Foundation in honor of Britney. Together they built an orphanage in Haiti for thirty-three boys and thirty-three girls, a tribute to the sixty-six days before Britney was found. Cherylann serves as the Executive Director and leads all fundraising efforts. 

Cherylann is a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and was profiled by NAPW in April 2012. In addition, she was named one of the Top 25 Women Changing the World in 2014 by Cyrus Webb and was featured in Woman’s World Magazine. She received an honorary doctorate from Becker College and The University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

Cherylann travels the country sharing her heart and stories about Britney, her experiences with the children of Be Like Brit, and how she, along with the support of family, friends, and total strangers have learned to turn tragedy into hope.

She is the co-author of the book Heartache & Hope in Haiti; The Britney Gengel Storywhere 100% of the profits are dedicated to Be Like Brit’s home. 

Cherylann Gengel

The Be Like Brit Foundation
Co-founder and Executive Director

email Cherylann >>