|Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Cele-bear-ates 10th Birthday with The Year of Friendship|
Milestone marks ten years of friendship and giving
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 26, 2007--Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Where Best Friends Are Made(R) is cele-bear-ating its tenth birthday! Since the company opened its first store in Oct. 1997 at the Saint Louis Galleria, Build-A-Bear Workshop has grown to become a global brand while being recognized as a company with heart.
"The teddy bear has been a longtime symbol of friendship and comfort," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear. "From the time that I first began dreaming about what Build-A-Bear Workshop could be, I knew that giving back to children and families had to be a priority for the company."
The company's giving effort is led by its two foundations--the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation and the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation. Each year, both foundations work to extend a helping paw to those in need through meaningful philanthropic programs that support children's health and wellness causes, literacy and education, the preservation of endangered animals and their habitats, domestic animal shelters, disaster relief programs and environmental concerns. Build-A-Bear Workshop, its Guests and the foundations have achieved great strides in making the world a better place--one hug at a time.
Guided by the bearism, "Give honey unto others as you would have honey given unto you," the company has committed to many charitable giving initiatives over the past ten years. For instance, Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests have purchased more than one million purple satin hearts. All donations from the sale of $1 purple satin hearts are distributed to worthy causes by the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation.
"If all of the furry friends donated to special causes in the past ten years were lined up head to paw, they would cover the distance from St. Louis to New York City. Also, the total dollar amount donated by Build-A-Bear Workshop and its foundations would be equal to the value of nearly one ton of gold," said Scott Seay, president and chief operating officer of Build-A-Bear Workshop and president of the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation.
"From the start Build-A-Bear Workshop has been a company that believes in sharing and giving back to the community," added Clark.
Two programs that illustrate this are Stuffed With Hugs(TM) and Huggable Heroes(R). Stuffed With Hugs invites Guests to make bears for free to donate to various children's charities. Since 2001, more than 275,000 teddy bears have been donated to children in need of teddy bear hugs. Bears have been donated to children's hospitals, firefighters and police officers, the USO, UNICEF, Ronald McDonald House, the Joint Council on International Children's Services and other worthy organizations. In addition, the Huggable Heroes(R) program, entering its fifth year, works to encourage and inspire children to give back to their own communities. To date, the company has recognized more than 40 Huggable Heroes from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as six Huggable Heroes groups
During 2007, the company has celebrated its tenth birthday with "The Year of Friendship," which included a series of charitable giving initiatives, such as:
-- Building playgrounds Build-A-Bear Workshop built ten playgrounds in ten weeks across North America in partnership with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Each playground was designed by local children and built in one day by hundreds of Build-A-Bear Workshop employees and vendors, community partners and others. Cities receiving the new playgrounds included Columbus, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Houston, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Salt Lake City, Ft. Worth, and St. Louis. -- Planting trees for the environment Build-A-Bear Workshop partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation for The Friendship Forest campaign, which invited Guests and associates to raise money to plant trees in areas in need of reforestation in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The money raised during the initiative will result in the planting of more than 280,000 trees, including a donation of $10,000 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation. -- Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Year of Friendship Tour Build-A-Bear Workshop On Tour, the teddy bear themed mobile store, visited children in Miami, Austin, Albuquerque and Atlanta. More than 1,000 children made teddy bears at the mobile store and 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.
"Being a good citizen has always been important to Build-A-Bear Workshop, and we knew that we needed to dedicate our tenth year to giving back to the community," added Clark. "We feel that it is important to live each day the way a teddy bear would."
To cap off The Year of Friendship, Build-A-Bear Workshop will be introducing a new float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(R), which will feature a performance by The Jonas Brothers. In addition, the company will host a birthday party at the Saint Louis Galleria, the site of the beary first store.
Clark noted, "We are thrilled to be able to celebrate this beary special milestone with our Guests, and are looking forward to spreading even more teddy bear hugs throughout the world during the next ten years."
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 300 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. 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(R) 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 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