SOURCE: Build A Bear Workshop

Build A Bear Workshop

February 12, 2009 16:46 ET

Love. Hugs. Peace.™ Movement Harnesses Power of Youth, Encourages Charitable Giving, Celebrates Volunteerism

Special Song Provides Inspiration; Benefits Save the Children; First Rendition by David Archuleta Debuts Feb. 14

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - February 12, 2009) - A new movement is brewing and, even before the official kick-off this week, Love. Hugs. Peace.™ has already piqued the interest and support of more than 50,000 kids who want to make the world a better place. Cheyanne from the United States has pledged to tutor someone in a subject she knows well. John in the United Kingdom has promised to do something nice for friends or family and Aaliyah from Switzerland has vowed to volunteer time to a special cause. The movement and the pledges are growing daily as word spreads around the world to children from Oceania, Asia, Europe, North America and South America who understand that no matter how young or old they are, they can help make a difference one hug at a time.

The global giving movement being launched by Build-A-Bear Workshop® is designed to empower its young Guests to make the world a better place. The movement offers a variety of ways to engage Guests, including new avenues to give back, and builds on company programs that recognize, celebrate and reward community service. Kids can join the movement at www.buildabear.com/lovehugspeace and make a love, hugs or peace pledge to show how they will do their part. From Feb. 14 through March 4, they also can donate to Save the Children and receive a download of the movement's new signature song as a thank you for their donation.

David Archuleta and Others Lend Their Voices to the Campaign

A special song, "Let's Talk About Love," was created to bring the Love. Hugs. Peace. movement to life and empower kids to spread the message of sharing and love. The song was written especially for Build-A-Bear Workshop by award-winning music producer, songwriter and CEO/CCO of DMI Music & Media Solutions, Tena Clark. The powerful song will become the anthem of the movement, embodying the spirit of love, peace and giving.

Acclaimed artist David Archuleta of American Idol fame is the first artist to join the movement. His version of the song is available beginning Feb. 14 through March 4. During this timeframe, Guests will receive the song download as a thank you for their $1 donation to Save the Children made either online at www.buildabear.com/lovehugspeace or at any of the participating Build-A-Bear Workshop stores.

During this same time, Build-A-Bear Workshop will match each donation up to $50,000. Archuleta fans will also be able to purchase a tee featuring his photo for their furry friend available in stores and online. Archuleta is just the first of what is to be an all-star line-up of singers who will lend their vocal talents to sing "Let's Talk About Love." Additional artists are set to jump on board to record the song with their own unique sounds and styles as the movement continues throughout the year.

New Exclusive Merchandise

The Love. Hugs. Peace. movement is being represented by a heart, a teddy bear and peace sign, hot fashion icons that will be featured on Build-A-Bear Workshop fashions and friends throughout the year. There will be a series of exclusive bear-sized tees and for each tee purchased (prices range from $5 - $6.50) Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate $.25 to Save the Children. Spring Hugs Bear, the first furry friend in the Beary Limited® edition Collectibear® 2009 Seasons of Hugs Bear series, is now available for $20. Each bear is individually numbered and includes a collectible pin. Guests that make Spring Hugs Bear also receive 7,500 Bear Bills® for buildabearville.com®.

Virtual Components

The movement extends to buildabearville.com®, the Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual world which today engages more than 7.5 million citizens. Kids can obtain virtual Love. Hugs. Peace. t-shirts and banners, and in the world watch special celebrity interviews, including an exclusive chat with Archuleta on the Chloe Show Feb. 14 through March 4.

More Love. Hugs. Peace. Opportunities

Other elements of the multi-faceted Love. Hugs. Peace. campaign include the sixth annual search for Huggable Heroes®, stuffed animal donations that bring much needed hugs to children throughout the year and especially during the holidays, and a generous grant program.

"Build-A-Bear Workshop has the unique ability to reach kids and their families and support causes that are important to them. Love. Hugs. Peace. cele-bear-ates and builds on the more than $20 million we have donated together with our Guests since the Company was founded in 1997," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. "We hope the movement inspires and empowers young people, now more than ever, to share teddy bear hugs wherever needed in local communities and abroad and to lead us towards a brighter future."

Huggable Heroes

For the sixth consecutive year, Build-A-Bear Workshop is continuing its efforts to recognize and reward community-minded young leaders, ages seven through 18, who are doing their part to make the world a better place through its Huggable Heroes program. Entries are being accepted now through Feb. 27 for the 2009 program. Entry forms are available at all North American Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and online at www.buildabear.com/huggableheroes. Twelve Huggable Heroes will be selected and each will be awarded a $7,500 educational scholarship and $2,500 in the form of a donation to the 501(c)(3) charity of his or her choice. Since the program began in 2004, Build-A-Bear Workshop has honored more than 50 amazing kids who have engaged in countless hours of community service.

Stuffed Animal Donations

On Stuffed with Hugs™ day, a designated day each year, Guests are invited to visit any participating Build-A-Bear Workshop store to help make a number of special furry friends for free, which are then donated to a worthy cause. Through the Stuffed with Hugs program, more than 325,000 donations have been made to community organizations in Build-A-Bear Workshop communities around the world including children's hospitals, firefighters and police officers, the USO, UNICEF, Ronald McDonald House Charities, children in foster and adoptive care organizations, children's health and wellness initiatives, children's literacy organizations and humane education programs. Build-A-Bear Workshop also conducts Stuffed with Hugs events in response to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, to bring children the extra comfort they need.

In addition, Build-A-Bear Workshop donates stuffed animals to help make the holidays happier for children who deserve a teddy bear hug. In 2008, the company partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program providing more than 380,000 toys to help bring smiles to the faces of a record number of less fortunate children. This year the company will again serve as a collection center for the Toys for Tots toy drive and will facilitate cash donations through its purple satin heart sales.

The company also recently announced that it is now accepting grant applications for 2009 through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation and the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation. These grant programs are part of the comprehensive giving strategy put in place since Build-A-Bear Workshop opened its first store in 1997. For more information and grant applications visit: http://www.buildabear.com/aboutus/community/grants.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, Build-A-Dino® stores and friends 2B made® doll locations. In December 2007, Build-A-Bear Workshop extended its in-store interactive experience online with the launch of its virtual world at www.buildabearville.com.

Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $474 million in fiscal 2007. 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.

About Save the Children

Save the Children reaches girls and boys in the United States and more than 120 countries. The contribution being made to Save the Children through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Love. Hugs. Peace. movement will support its immediate and long-term programs that help ensure children are protected, healthy and well-nourished, learn and develop, and live in food-secure and economically viable households. For more information visit www.savethechildren.org.

TRADEMARKS

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.

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Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Wendy Bain
    Blick&Staff Communications
    314.727.5700, x110
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    Kris Brill
    Blick&Staff Communications
    314.780.1332
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    Maureen O'Connor
    Rogers & Cowan
    310.854.8116
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    Jessica Erksine
    Rogers & Cowan
    310.854.8129
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