I didn’t know it then, but back in September 2019 I received call from Cuningham Group, an award-winning architecture and design firm with eight offices around the world, that would ultimately expand our programming in 2020. That fateful call was from Shawn Olson, a senior associate, who shared that Breanna’s Gift was one of the charities selected as possible recipient of a charitable donation from the proceeds of their annual Cuningham Group Creative Exhibition. Tim Dufault, Cuningham Group president, had nominated us for this honor.

I soon discovered that Marsha, our founder and program director, had worked with Tim before founding Breanna’s Gift in 2007, and knew about this annual event and had attended 15 out of the past 17 exhibitions. Her enthusiasm for this creative and fun event was contagious. Breanna’s Gift was ultimately selected as the 2019 charitable recipient. We were invited as guests for dinner preceding the event – and the dinner, from the specially selected wine, appetizers and main course, was all prepared by Cuningham Group employees. They had spent months planning this meal, and it’s safe to say it rivaled high-end restaurants.


It’s hard to overstate how special this creative exhibition is to behold. Paintings, hand-crafted earrings and purses, sculptures and more were all on display at Hennepin Made Lighting for the public to bid on. Every item was created by Cuningham Group employees. This exhibition is highly anticipated, and the energy was palpable as hundreds of patrons bid on their selections throughout the evening.

Fast-forward to this week, when Marsha and I were at Cuningham Group offices for the big check unveiling. Let’s just say a tear or ten may have been shed between the two of us when we found out they had raised $22,310 for us. This amazing gift allows us to spearhead and fast-track our expanded programming this month at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

A heartfelt thank you to Tim Dufault, Shawn Olson and all the wonderful employees at Cuningham Group.