Boat for Haitian village honors South Florida woman

By Palm Beach

COCONUT CREEK – Members of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Palm Beach recently donated money to equip a Food For The Poor fishing village in Haiti with a fiberglass boat and engine in memory of their friend and comrade, Ann Marie Briere, who died on Feb. 22. The boat’s name, “Relief,” will be a symbol of hope to the fishermen, villagers, and all who struggle daily to survive.

When the earthquake violently shook Haiti on Jan. 12, Briere did what she could from her hospital bed – she prayed. Not for herself – but for the people in Haiti. Shortly after her passing her husband, Dale, said, “She has joined the angels that soar over Haiti.”

“Ann inspired many to believe not only in themselves but in others,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s executive director.

For nine years, Briere worked on behalf of the poor in Food For The Poor’s public relations department. She traveled to Haiti and throughout the Caribbean and Latin America several times with the South Florida-based charity. Earlier this year, Food For The Poor built a two-room house in Haiti in honor of their cherished employee.

Food For The Poor’s 30 operational fishing villages throughout Haiti have transformed poor coastal communities by providing fishermen with essential tools and education. With seaworthy boats, reliable engines, fishing tackle, coolers, freezers, secure storage sheds and safety equipment fishermen are able to work in deeper, more bountiful waters with larger, more marketable fish.

In addition to the fishing boat, Briere’s husband, Dale, and the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem have donated funds to install two computer systems – a total of 12 computer workstations in schools in Haiti. School children in Haiti are eager to learn computer skills because it opens up a new world of opportunities for them. 

Briere is survived by her husband of 19 years, and by her two sons, Justin Hill of New York, and Andrew Hill of Delray Beach.


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