DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A glow-in-the-dark tennis party will get underway Friday night at the Delray Beach Tennis Center benefiting the Be Like Brit Foundation.
"We're gonna have a glow-in-the-dark tennis party, and if you can't play tennis, even better. Come on down," said Cherylann Gengel, co-founder and executive director of the Be Like Brit Foundation said. "It's really going to be a great night where people can come together, and that's what Brittany loved, bringing people together, having a great time and really just being able to share the story of Be Like Brit."
Cherylann's daughter, Britney Gengel, was a Lynn University student who died in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while she was on a school trip.
"Haiti had a 7.0 devastating earthquake where over 300,000 people were killed. And for 33 days our family didn't know if Brittany was one of them," Cherylann Gengel said.
Moments before the quake occurred, Brit sent her mom a text.
"She was devastated by the poverty and the situation that she saw people in, and she had sent me a text message that said they love us so much and everyone is so happy," Cherylann Gengel said. "They love what they have, and they worked so hard to get nowhere yet they're also appreciative. I want to move here and start an orphanage myself."
The orphanage was built in the shape of the letter B for Brit. It's a 19,000-square-foot facility, with the 19 representing Brit's age.
"We have 33 girls and 33 boys representing the 33 days that she was missing in the rubble at the Hotel Montana," Cherylann Gengel said. "Our goal is to raise the next generation of leaders in Haiti."
The proceeds raised at the "Serve it Forward: A Glow in the Dark Tennis Party" will help fuel Be Like Brit's mission. That mission includes building a transition home for students entering college, which will be built off Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.
"On this journey, we have seen humanity at its best," Cherylann Gengel said. "People are really good. People are kind, and we're just very blessed to have all these incredible people in our lives."
The "Serve it Forward” tennis party turns traditional tennis into a fun, no-pressure social experience for people of all ages and abilities.
The event will get underway at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by the Delray Beach Open.