ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 21, 2012-- Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive retailer of customized stuffed animals, announced today that it will raise funds for Autism Speaks with the help of Guests throughout the month of April. This is the eighth consecutive year that Build-A-Bear Workshop has supported the charity, which funds research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism and advocates for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Guests can support Autism Speaks by donating $1 (or more) when they check out at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United States or online at buildabear.com®. In Canada, Guests may purchase purple satin hearts for $1 throughout the month of April to support Autism Speaks. Guests can also give back at Bearville.com™, the company's virtual world and entertainment destination and from April 1 through June 30th, by a percentage of the purchase price of Bearville Outfitters® Virtual Stuff Game Cards to Autism Speaks when they activate their cards. Since 2004, Build-A-Bear Workshop has raised more than $545,000 to support Autism Speaks.
"Build-A-Bear Workshop is dedicated to supporting causes that matter most to our Guests, including autism spectrum disorders that affect children and their families," said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. "We are proud to continue helping Autism Speaks with their efforts and believe that by working together we can make a difference for families and individuals affected by this disorder."
Build-A-Bear Workshop and its associates believe in the teddy bear philosophy of being good people and good bears. Throughout its 15 year history, the company with heart has shared the hug of a teddy bear 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 and literacy, and has given more than $30 million through its corporate donations and foundation grant programs to these causes.
"We are so grateful to Build-A-Bear Workshop for continuing its support of Autism Speaks," said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. "As we celebrate Autism Awareness Month, our ongoing partnership with Build-A-Bear Workshop raises awareness and funds that will allow us to continue research into the causes, treatments and diagnosis for autism."
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders - autism spectrum disorders - caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 110 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum - a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks' Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light It Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning "Learn the Signs" campaign with the Ad Council has received over $316 million in donated media. Autism Speaks' family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a Grandparent's Guide to Autism, and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government's response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 29 states thus far, with legislation continuing to advance in more states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
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 and entertainment destination website at bearville.com™. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the fourth year in a row in 2012. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $394.4 million in fiscal 2011. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com®.
Throughout 2012, Build-A-Bear Workshop® is celebrating its 15th birthday and 100 million furry friends made. To thank Guests for helping the company reach these milestones, Build-A-Bear Workshop is hosting a year-long "Friends Count" celebration. The celebration includes in-store events and charitable activities. The company is also inviting Guests to share and read stories about others who have made furry friends at Build-A-Bear Workshop at the website buildabear.com/stories. For more information and updates on Build-A-Bear Workshop and the year-long "Friends Count" initiative visit buildabear.com®.
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.
Source: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.