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|Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Surpasses $10 Million Mark In Charitable Giving As It Cele-bear-ates 10th Birthday|
Year-long series of events supports reading, playground builds,
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 30, 2007--Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) turns ten years old in 2007 and plans to celebrate with a year-long series of charitable activities and events across the nation that will bring playgrounds, books and the friendship of a teddy bear to children in need.
Build-A-Bear Workshop is a company with heart - one that is growing larger with every passing year. Now with more than 300 stores worldwide and franchise agreements with 17 countries, Build-A-Bear Workshop reaches millions of people, both the young and young at heart. In keeping with that spirit, Bearemy(R), the Build-A-Bear Workshop huggable mascot, has declared 2007: The Year of Friendship, Cele-bear-ating 10 years of hugs.
"People have been asking me for years how we will maintain our teddy bear culture as we grow," said Maxine Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Bear. "I think the answer is simple. It's about teddy bears and it's about heart. And it's about being good people and good bears. The language of teddy bears is understood in every country and by all ages."
Build-A-Bear Workshop is proud to announce that its charitable giving efforts have surpassed the $10 million mark and as a part of the celebration, during 2007 the company is launching several new charitable programs.
In 2007, the company's expanded charitable giving initiatives include:
-- Helping kids play- Build-A-Bear Workshop is building and donating ten playgrounds which will be located in inner city neighborhoods across the U.S. and in Canada. The playgrounds will be designed by local children with help from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The playgrounds will be dedicated as a lasting gift to the towns in which they are built. The playground builds will involve members of each local benefit community and each will include unique events special for that neighborhood. The ten playgrounds will be built over a three-month period, finished by September 8, and will be celebrated with special opening ceremonies in Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Houston, Toronto, Canada, Boston, Denver, Salt Lake City and St Louis. -- Build-A-Bear Workshop On Tour- To reach out to underserved children in all areas of the country, the company's store on wheels has scheduled very special visits to four cities across the U.S. At the first stop in Miami, which happened on January 22, school children received a free new book through First Book(R), a nonprofit organization that gives children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books, and were invited to make a bear in the mobile store. For the upcoming stops in Austin, Albuquerque and Atlanta, the children will also engage in hands-on-learning events designed to encourage literacy, stimulate their imaginations and inspire their sense of possibility. Build-A-Bear Workshop and First Book expect to serve up to 5,000 children through this program. -- Planting trees for the planet- Build-A-Bear Workshop will create Friendship Forests with the planting of trees in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Working with the Arbor Day Foundation, Build-A-Bear Workshop will find the areas most in need then kickoff the program on April 20. Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests will be able to purchase a certificate for a dollar at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores to have a tree planted in their name or that of a friend or family member. -- Ten years of heart- Build-A-Bear Workshop will continue to expand on the existing programs that have made a difference for so many. This year, the fourth annual Huggable Heroes program will award $100,000 in prizes to 10 young people who provide extraordinary service in their communities. Each winner will receive a $7,500 scholarship and $2,500 to be donated to a charity of each winner's choice. -- Introducing a new online community- www.buildabearville.com - where friends can virtually get together to make great things happen. When visiting Build-A-Bearville, Guests will learn about events, be able to download MP3s, play more than 100 games, send e-cards, watch party videos and more. Visitors also will be invited to make the Friendship Forest grow through their contributions.
Giving back is a part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy bear culture of caring and sharing that began in October of 1997 at Saint Louis Galleria in St. Louis. Each new furry friend was given a heart - a Build-A-Bear Workshop trademark - and then filled with good wishes, after adding personality with hundreds of outfits and accessories. The concept grew and now Build-A-Bear Workshop and its Guests have populated the world with 45 million furry friends.
"When I started Build-A-Bear Workshop ten years ago, I was looking to re-create the excitement and magic I felt as a child," Clark said.
"Although we have grown throughout our ten years to more than 300 stores worldwide, I tend to focus on another type of growth. It's about the impression we are making on each Guest, each other and the world. It's about people," Clark added. "It's about moments and it's about living each day the way a teddy bear would. It's the same philosophy today as it was on day one."
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 270 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded its concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of is first friends2Bmade(R) stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends.
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 www.buildabear.com and www.friends2bmade.com.
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(R) 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(R) should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
CONTACT: Build-A-Bear Workshop
SOURCE: Build-A-Bear Workshop