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Do You Know A Huggable Hero?
Build-A-Bear Workshop® is on a search for young people who have made extraordinary contributions in their communities

When life dishes up lemons or tough situations, you can count on a Huggable Hero to turn those lemons into lemonade and help make the world a better place.

Huggable Heroes® are young people whom Build-A-Workshop® recognizes, honors and cele-bear-ates each year for providing extraordinary service in their communities.

Last year, one Huggable Hero, Bailey, age 10, coordinated the shipment of more than 12,000 packages to our soldiers in Iraq. Anthony, age 15, started a program that provided more than 80,000 hats to pediatric cancer patients who lost their hair. And Welland, age 18, created “Suitcases for Kids,” which put 400,000 suitcases in the hands of children who must move from one foster home to another.

Build-A-Bear Workshop selected Bailey, Anthony, Welland and others from thousands of Huggable Hero candidates nominated by friends, family, teachers, mentors and acquaintances. Now the search for more Huggable Heroes begins again. Nominations will be accepted for Huggable Heroes, 18-years-old and younger, from December 26, 2006, until February 14, 2007. Anyone is eligible to submit a nomination. This year, in honor of its tenth birthday, Build-A-Bear Workshop will honor 10 Huggable Heroes.

“The Huggable Heroes® program reflects our commitment to empowering our young Guests to make a difference,” said Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder and Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. “Every day we see Guests coming to our stores and putting so much heart and love into making a bear for a family member, a friend or someone in need. We knew that this concept of giving extended well beyond into community involvement. This program finds those wonderful, caring people and gives them the credit they deserve.”

According to Carol Weisman, author of Raising Charitable Children, “Recognizing kids for their good deeds encourages them to continue helping others. The Huggable Heroes program honors every child who is nominated and supports all efforts to make a difference.”

Weisman says, raising a Huggable Hero starts at home and offers these tips to teach children how to give back to those in need:

  • Children live by example. Include children at a young age in your philanthropic deeds – share your experiences.
  • Help children decide what causes to support by asking these questions: What makes you happy? What makes you sad or frightened? How would you change the world? Then donate your time and money to the issues that affect their lives.
  • Set aside an hour each month to do something with your child to benefit someone else.
  • Make volunteering fun – include family and friends.
  • Reward their good deeds – nominate your child for programs such as the Huggable Heroes Program.

Nominations for the 2007 Huggable Heroes will be narrowed down to a field of 125 semifinalists and then 30 finalists. Seven winners will represent particular regions of the U.S. Two will be selected from the United Kingdom and one from Canada.

Each Huggable Hero will receive a prize worth $10,000 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation ($7,500 in the form of a scholarship and $2,500 to be donated to the charity of the hero's choice awarded in the winner's local currency). In addition, they receive a trip to St. Louis where the winners will be honored for their good deeds, meet the other Huggable Heroes and participate in a photo shoot for the 2008 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes calendar.

Nomination forms are available at any Build-A-Bear Workshop® store or online at

Our Inspiration
Nikki Giampolo is the inspiration for the Huggable Heroes program. Nikki Giampolo loved life, loved children and loved teddy bears. She shared that love by giving bears and their hugs to all those around her, including her doctors. In 2002, at the age of 15, Nikki lost her life to cancer. Her family and friends shared with Build-A-Bear Workshop Nikki's story of courage and her hopes of helping children with cancer. Moved by Nikki's life and the way she lived it, Nikki's bear was created and supports children's cancer research and other children's health issues. Huggable Heroes, like Nikki, are special people who do things both big and small.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 260 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia and Australia makes Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded the make-your-own concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of its first friends 2B made® stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends. In April 2006, Build-A-Bear Workshop acquired The Bear Factory Limited and Amsbra, Ltd. adding company-owned stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $362 million in fiscal 2005. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at and

We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full Name: Build A Bear Workshop® and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word “make” not “build.”

Build A Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build A Bear Retail Management, Inc. Build A Bear Workshop® should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.

For more information contact:

Katy Lachky
314-423-8000, ext 5379
314-283-3122 cell

Wendy Bain
314-995-3939, ext. 110
314-323-5835 cell