ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - Jan 12, 2012) - As the country prepares to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday with a Day of Service, Build-A-Bear Workshop® launches its ninth annual search for Huggable Heroes®. This group will be made up of inspiring young leaders who have a commitment to serve, help others, and make a difference in their community. Kids, ages eight to 18, can be nominated through February 27 by visiting buildabear.com/huggableheroes or picking up an entry form at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
The 10 selected Huggable Heroes will each receive $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship from Build-A-Bear Workshop and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity or Canadian cause of their choice). In addition, the Huggable Heroes will receive a trip for themselves and one parent, or legal guardian, to St. Louis, home of Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters, where they will be celebrated for their work, participate in a professional photo shoot, and take part in a community service project.
Since Build-A-Bear Workshop first launched the program in 2004, more than 100 Huggable Heroes have been recognized, and have collectively been awarded nearly one million dollars in donations and scholarship money. This year, Build-A-Bear Workshop and its foundation will contribute $100,000 more to the educational development and community-minded efforts of young people who do their part with heart.
Entries will be narrowed down to 80 semifinalists in March and to 30 finalists in May. In June, 10 noteworthy young people will be selected and named 2012 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes.
"Our Huggable Heroes provide us with hope and inspiration year after year through their efforts to help others," said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. "It always amazes me to see how creative and passionate our youth are and how the Huggable Heroes use these skills to help improve the world around us. It is our mission at Build-A-Bear Workshop to make sure these kids are recognized and awarded for their efforts. We are investing in young leaders today to be future leaders tomorrow."
Over the last three years alone, Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes have raised funds and gathered items valued at nearly $40 million. They've logged countless hours giving back, launching toy drives, collecting supplies for underserved children, providing relief to victims of natural disasters, sending care packages and phone cards to soldiers, starting networks that mobilize and empower kids to help others and much more.
To read the stories about the Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes and learn more about the program, visit buildabear.com/huggableheroes.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and South America. 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 Web site at bearville.com™. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® lists 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 Web site at buildabear.com®.
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