St. Louis--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- During the month of May, one dollar from the sale of each stuffed dog from the Bearemy Kennel Pals® collection available at Build-A-Bear Workshop®, will be donated by the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to Canine Companions for Independence®. This program was inspired by Shea Megale, a thirteen-year-old with Spinal Muscular Atrophy who has written a series of books about the adventures of her assistance dog, Mercer, to raise funds for Canine Companions for Independence. The organization matches highly trained assistance dogs with children and adults with disabilities and placed Mercer with Shea in 2004.
"Shea is a heroic young woman that is dedicated to raising awareness about the valuable role of assistance dogs," said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. "Build-A-Bear Workshop strives to support causes that are important to Guests and Shea has motivated us to help Canine Companions for Independence. "
In April of 2008, Shea made her debut at buildabearville.com®, the Build-A-Bear Workshop online world, along with her assistance dog, Mercer. While visiting Build-A-Bearville™, Shea and Mercer met citizens of the virtual world with the goal of encouraging them to make a difference in their community and beyond.
From May 18 to May 31, Shea and Mercer will return to Build-A-Bearville, back by popular demand. Shea will be appearing on The Chloe Show to be interviewed by ChloeRocks™, the avatar spokesperson for Build-A-Bearville and to discuss her cause. Guests who watch Shea's interview will receive a FREE virtual gift. Inspired by Mercer and all assistance dogs, Guests of buildabearville.com® can visit the gymnasium to teach their virtual furry friends to do three new moves by playing minigames. After Guests earn all three moves, they can continue to play and earn Bear Bills® to shop for virtual Build-A-Bearville stuff.
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 cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families, and pets in need of a helping paw. The Foundation makes grants to qualified non-profit organization that support the health and wellness of children and families, the care and welfare of animals, the preservation of the environment, and the promotion of literary and education for all.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the leading and only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in 1997, the Company and its franchisees currently operate more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop® stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. In 2007, the interactive experience was enhanced - all the way to CyBEAR™ space - with the launch of buildabearville.com®, the company's virtual world stuffed with fun. The company was named to the 2009 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $468 million in fiscal 2008.
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Source: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.