Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Introduces New Black Labrador Inspired By the Beary Special Friendship Between a Girl and Her Assistance Dog
Furry friend is the newest member of the Bearemy's Kennel Pals(R) collection
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) introduced a new member to its Bearemy's Kennel Pals(R) line - the collection of plush dogs that benefit domestic pet programs across the United States. The latest addition, the Black Labrador, was inspired by the story of a beary special Guest, Shea Megale, and her friendship with her Canine Companions assistance dog, Mercer. Build-A-Bear Workshop will also begin selling an assistance dog backpack that can be worn by furry friends.
"We are very excited to introduce this furry friend inspired by a very special friend of mine and her companion dog," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear. "We know that black labs are very popular based on the response we received when we carried one several years ago. Our new Black Labrador is not only adorable, but meaningful to pets and children across the country."
Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy as a young child, Shea has worked hard to raise awareness about her disease and work towards a cure. Shea and Mercer were matched by an organization called Canine Companions for Independence. Shea is now twelve years old, and the author of a recently published series of books about Mercer. Her books highlight the friendship between Shea and Mercer, as he tucks her into bed and heads off for exciting adventures. Shea's positive attitude and strides to raise money and awareness for Canine Companions and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation have inspired others and drawn national attention to these important causes. When Build-A-Bear Workshop became aware of Shea, the company took steps to get involved and do what it could to help.
"Shea's mother wrote to me about all of the wonderful things Shea was doing to create awareness about her disease and the valuable role of assistance dogs, and I felt we needed to do something to support her efforts," said Clark. "Shea is truly an inspiration, and we are honored to be able to recognize her and our other Guests with assistance dogs by adding the Black Labrador to our Bearemy's Kennel Pals collection, which helps animal organizations across the country."
Build-A-Bear Workshop will cele-bear-ate the introduction of the Black Labrador in several ways:
- For each dog from the Bearemy's Kennel Pals collection sold from April 25 through May 31, the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation will donate $1 to Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization who matches highly trained assistance dogs with children and adults with disabilities for no charge.
- During the month of May, the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation will direct the donations from the sale of its purple satin hearts to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating progress towards a treatment and cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
- During April 25, 26 and 27, Shea's own online character will make special appearances in buildabearville.com(TM), the Build-A-Bear Workshop online world. During that time, she will be exploring the virtual world, talking with other online characters and handing out an exclusive Mercer emoticon.
- Through the end of the year, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Assistance Dog Backpacks will be donated to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation and granted to organizations that train assistance dogs.
"I love Build-A-Bear Workshop, and am excited that they are creating a new stuffed animal that helps pet organizations all over the country," said Shea. "I think it is very important that kids realize that their actions can make a positive difference in their communities."
"Shea us truly one of the most special differently-abled children we have had the honor to know," added Clark. "We are in awe of her accomplishments and we are proud to be associated with such an outstanding young woman."
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. The company currently operates more than 375 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(R) mascot in-stadium locations, Build-A-Dino(R) stores and friends 2B made(R) 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.
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SOURCE: Build-A-Bear Workshop