Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to Help Beary Special Charities

Foundation will present checks to Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence at book signing event on October 13

ST. LOUIS (Oct. 9, 2007) – The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation is honoring two beary special organizations for their strides to improve the lives of children and families. On Oct. 13 at the biggest Build-A-Bear Workshop® store in the world, located on Fifth Avenue in New York, the Foundation will present donation checks in the amount of $2,500 each to The Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence. The check presentation will take place at 2 p.m., and will kick off a book signing event for an exceptional Build-A-Bear Workshop friend, 12-year-old Shea Megale. Shea was diagnosed with SMA at a young age, and recently released her first book, Marvelous Mercer, which features the adventures of Mercer, her assistance dog. Shea will be signing copies of her book from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation strives to support organizations like The SMA Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence,” said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. “By serving as a resource for individuals and families going through challenging times, these organizations have truly enriched the lives of numerous individuals like Shea Megale.”

Shea was matched with Mercer by Canine Companions for Independence in 2004. Marvelous Mercer is the first book to be published in her series of six books; the second book will be released in January.

"Canine Companions for Independence truly values our partnership with the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation,” said Corey Hudson, chief executive officer of Canine Companions for Independence. “The Foundation shares our appreciation for the power of the human-animal bond and is showing it by recognizing one of our wonderful graduate teams, Shea and Mercer. We look forward to uniting more exceptional dogs with exceptional people in the future, and this donation will help us to do that.”

In addition to being a young author, Shea has raised more than $150,000 for SMA research through the years. In fact, at the 10th annual “Walk for Shea,” more than 600 volunteers participated to raise money for SMA.

“There are currently more than 50,000 people living with SMA in the United States, Europe and Japan,” said Cynthia Joyce, executive director of the SMA Foundation. “The support of organizations like the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation, as well as individuals like Shea, will help us to continue to raise awareness about SMA and fund research on the disease.”

The proceeds from the sales of Marvelous Mercer benefit SMA research and Canine Companions for Independence. Copies of Marvelous Mercer will be on hand for purchase during the signing event.

About the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation
The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to improving and impacting lives through meaningful philanthropic programs and causes for children and families. The Foundation's goals are to increase public awareness of children's health and wellness programs and to support related research education and treatment programs. The Foundation also supports programs which promote literacy and education, the preservation of endangered animals and their habitats, domestic animal shelters, disaster relief programs and environmental concerns.

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 290 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia make 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 $437 million in fiscal 2006. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at and

About Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence is the largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs with five regional training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

About Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation
Founded in 2003, the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating progress towards a treatment and cure for spinal muscular atrophy through targeted funding of clinical research and novel drug development efforts. Since its inception, the Foundation had awarded over $40 million in sponsored research agreements. In addition, the Foundation is committed to raising awareness and generating support for increased research efforts in spinal muscular atrophy among the leaders of industry and government. For more information on the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, please visit or call (646) 253-7100.

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Build-A-Bear Workshop® is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, 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.


Mindy Peirce
314-423-8000 ext. 5492
314-973-1018 cell phone

Matt Oldani
314.423.8000 ext 5366
314.398-9531 cell phone