ST. LOUIS, MO --(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive retailer of customized stuffed animals, today announced a new partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, the nation's top ranked children's cancer hospital, at a special party in New York.
To help launch the partnership, Build-A-Bear Workshop is hosting a "Cause for Celebration" kick-off party today at its New York City Fifth Avenue store with special guest, Marlo Thomas, daughter of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, and national outreach director for St. Jude. Marlo will be joined by Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, and several young patients from St. Jude who have reached a significant milestone in their treatment, in a special celebration with their families and other friends of St. Jude.
Today's festivities will introduce the "Cause for Celebration" parties where Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can have fun and make a difference by making a $10 donation to St. Jude when they book a party at any Build-A-Bear Workshop store location. The entire $10 will go to St. Jude to support the lifesaving research and cutting edge medical treatment conducted at St. Jude. Build-A-Bear Workshop will match each Guest's $10 donation when a "Cause for Celebration" party is scheduled, up to the first 1,000 parties. Throughout March, Guests can also support the hospital by donating $1 (or more) when they check out at all Build-A-Bear Workshop retail locations in the United States, at buildabear.com®, or by purchasing purple satin hearts in Canada. To initiate the March effort, the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation is also donating $15,000 to St. Jude.
"The 'Cause for Celebration' program is a unique and fun way for kids to help kids at meaningful times in their lives. Kids and families can celebrate their personal milestones at Build-A-Bear Workshops -- birthdays, report cards, winning a game or just a good time -- while ensuring that St. Jude patients get the same chance to celebrate the milestones in their treatment -- finishing chemo or completing treatment altogether," said Thomas. "We are proud to welcome Build-A-Bear Workshop and their enthusiastic customers to the St. Jude family where we keep our promise that no child is ever turned away because a family can't pay."
"It is an honor to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and we are thrilled to be working with Marlo Thomas to promote our partnership," said Clark. "Through this program, we are teaching our young Guests that they can help children from around the world who come to St. Jude for treatment and care."
When Guests choose to have a "Cause for Celebration" party at Build-A-Bear Workshop, in addition to the $10 to be donated to St. Jude, each party attendee will sign a special St. Jude card and receive a sticker to remember the occasion. The Guest of Honor will receive a bear-sized tee shirt that says, "I helped the children of St. Jude" for all party attendees to sign. Guests can request donations for the hospital in lieu of gifts for their "Cause for Celebration" party. The Guest of Honor can also create a fundraising page website that they can then send to family and friends to collect online donations for St. Jude as part of their celebration.
For every "Cause for Celebration" party held in Build-A-Bear Workshop stores, the company will give a St. Jude patient a special celebration gift package containing a personalized card from Guests attending the store party and a $10 gift card. This package will be presented at the completion of the hospital stay or when the patient reaches a special milestone in treatment at the hospital. The gift card is a way for each child to celebrate with his or her family while experiencing the fun of making a new furry friend at the Build-A-Bear Workshop location of their choice.
"At Build-A-Bear Workshop, we are experts at providing teddy bears to children in need of a hug," said Clark, "Making a furry friend -- stuffed with a heart and filled with wishes -- will spread smiles and give hope to a St. Jude child on their road to recovery."
The fun continues at Bearville.com™, where Marlo Thomas will be interviewed by ChloeRocks, host of The Chloe Show, from March 4-17. Citizens on the virtual world can enjoy a "Cause for Celebration" party at the Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual store in Bearville™ where they will receive a balloon animal March 7-17. Also, when Guests participate in "Cause for Celebration" parties in stores, they will receive a code to redeem for a virtual tee shirt with a St. Jude logo for their avatar.
In addition, Build-A-Bear Workshop is providing fans on its Facebook page with the opportunity to win their own "Cause for Celebration" party valued at $300. The company will award one party each month from March through August. All participants in this contest will be entered to win the grand prize, a Build-A-Party® celebration valued at $500 plus a $500 contribution will be made to St. Jude in their name. For more details or to enter to win, visit facebook.com/buildabear
Build-A-Bear Workshop and its associates believe in the teddy bear philosophy of being good people and good bears. Throughout its 14 year history, the company with heart has shared the hug of a teddy bear wherever needed in local communities and abroad. Build-A-Bear Workshop has given Guests a voice in supporting the causes that are important to them like children's health and wellness, animals, literacy and has given more than $30 million through its corporate donations and foundation grant programs to these causes.
Marlo Thomas is the daughter of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, and spokesperson and national outreach director for St. Jude. She is an award-winning actress and author, first known for her acting debut in television's That Girl, which broke new ground for independent women everywhere, and which she also conceived and produced. Her pioneering spirit continued with her creation of "Free to Be... You and Me," a project that became a platinum album, bestselling book, Emmy Award-winning television special and a stage show. In Spring 2011, she will star on Broadway in Elaine May's new comedy, "George is Dead." She has just completed production on a new film, "LOL (Laughing Out Loud)," co-starring Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus to be released in 2011. Ms. Thomas is the author of five bestselling books, "Free to Be You and Me," "Free to Be a Family," "The Right Words at the Right Time" (Volumes 1 and 2), and "Thanks and Giving: All Year Long," the latter of which became a Grammy-winning CD. In September 2010, Hyperion books released her sixth book -- and only memoir -- "Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny."
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 United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. 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, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at Bearville.com. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the third year in a row in 2011. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $401.5 million in fiscal 2010. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. St. Jude was named the nation's top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.
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