Breanna’s Gift Story & Mission

Breanna&Marsha_cropMy name is Marsha Ovitz and Breanna was my granddaughter. She was bright, determined and full of fun. She loved to chitty chat about stuff, she loved to learn, she loved to play dress up, and she loved to suck her thumb. She loved to boss her brothers around, she loved shoes, she loved pink and she loved to dance. When Breanna was 3, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and she spent the last year of her life in the hospital. Breanna would go to the playroom to draw and listen to music. Each time, one item in particular was her most treasured find. It was a pair of tap shoes that she would put on and dance around the room. When it was time to leave the playroom, the shoes could not go with her and that was a time of much sadness and many tears. The idea for Breanna’s Gift came from this experience; we don’t want children to have to leave the shoes behind.

Breanna’s Gift is an arts program offering dance, visual art, music and performing arts experiences and workshops for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. All children in our dance classes receive their own pair of tap shoes and costumes for class and to take with them. Breanna’s Gift covers the cost of artists, dance shoes and costumes, art and music supplies. Two more integral parts of our programming are Art TakeoutTM  and Art Take2TM 

Art Takeout is a series of individual art classes in a box and Art Take2 is a library of dance, visual arts, music and performing arts classes in a video format. Both programs are intended for kids too sick to join group classes. Art Takeout projects and Art Take2 video classes are also sent to several hospitals outside the Twin Cities area, expanding our ability to reach more seriously ill children with our arts experiences. Our programs are free to all participants and to the facilities that we serve.

Breanna gave us her love and her joy and we are hoping to do the same by putting smiles on sad faces.If you like the idea of helping very sick children escape through the magic of the arts, perhaps you will consider some of the many ways you can support our program.

Breanna’s Gift was established as a non-profit organization in the State of Minnesota in January 2008 and our 501(c)3 status with the IRS was received in July 2008. The Breanna’s Gift program is consistent with the requirements established by medical professionals overseeing each child’s care.


About Breanna’s Star

Breanna’s Star, A Night of Art, Celebration and Giving, was born in April of 2009. The idea was to hold a casual gathering to help support our programs and to include arts elements in keeping with what we bring to children. Some people have called Breanna’s Star a “grass roots event.” We call it “fun.”

In 2020 and 2021, our event went virtual and we held online auctions as event centers closed and everyone sheltered in place due to the pandemic.

In 2022 we look forward to again connecting with everyone in person at our new location, Brookview Golden Valley.


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