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Search Is On For 2008 Huggable Heroes(R)

Submitted by: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.

Categories: Volunteerism, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jan 18, 2008 – 08:40 AM EST


Celebrating five years; Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) looks for young people doing their part to make our world a better place

Jan. 18 /CSRwire/ - ST. LOUIS, MO - January 18, 2008 – Young leaders have the chance to be recognized and rewarded in a program that has just launched its fifth annual search. Huggable Heroes(R) honors young people, 18 years of age and younger, who are making a positive difference in their communities or around the world.

Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) is currently seeking nominations for incredible kids to be named a 2008 Huggable Hero. Twelve Huggable Heroes will be selected and each will receive a prize worth $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the charity of the hero’s choice and awarded in the winner’s local currency). In addition, they each will receive a trip to a special location where the winners will be honored for their good deeds, participate in a leadership symposium, meet the other Huggable Heroes and participate in a photo shoot for the 2009 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes calendar.

Nomination forms are available at any Build-A-Bear Workshop store or online at www.buildabear.com.

Nominations will be accepted for Huggable Heroes from now through February 8, 2008. Anyone is eligible to submit a nomination – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, teachers, organization leaders or the young people themselves.

Now in its fifth year, the Huggable Heroes program encourages and empowers kids to be young leaders and change the world. Past Huggable Heroes have created programs that have made a difference in many ways, such as sending packages to soldiers overseas, raising funds for medical research and helping children in underdeveloped countries.

The public can meet some of the current and past Huggable Heroes on January 19, 20 and 21, when they make special appearances in buildabearville.com, a newly launched virtual world. Throughout the weekend, more than 20 Huggable Heroes will interact with other characters and share stories about the positive contributions they've made in their communities.

"It's hard to believe the Huggable Heroes program is embarking on its fifth year," said Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Founder and Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. "There are so many young people out there who continue to set positive examples of compassion, caring and dedication, and we want to give them the recognition they deserve."

"My experience with the Huggable Heroes(R) program has made a profound impact upon my life – one which will never fade due to time or distance," said 2004 Huggable Hero William Dunckelman. "In May, I will graduate from high school, but my commitment to service learning and the elderly will not end. It is not enough to want to change; I must be that change."

2007 Huggable Heroes included:

  • Rafaello Carone of New York, 7, who raised money in support of children's cancer research. He has raised more than $750,000 for the Morgan Center, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

  • And Talia Leman of Iowa, 12, who founded and operated her own non-profit called "RandomKid," which helps kids help others by mobilizing them through highly motivating, empowering initiatives. Talia has raised $340,000 for the various efforts in which she is involved.

    The 2006 Huggable Heroes(R) included:

  • Welland Burnside of South Carolina, now age 19, founded Suitcases for Kids, collecting more than 400,000 suitcases for children in foster care.

  • Anthony Leanna, now 16 of Wisconsin, started Heavenly Hats, collecting and distributing more than 80,000 new hats to cancer patients.

    Among the 2005 Huggable Heroes are:

  • Autumn Faucher, now 9 from New Hampshire, raised funds and awareness for a sick Masai Giraffe at the Franklin Park Zoo, as well as

  • Hanna Pelican, now 15 of Colorado, raised funds for Cystic Fibrosis Research.

    2004, the first Huggable Heroes, included:

  • William Dunckleman, now 17 of Louisiana, created FAME - Fine Arts Motivating the Elderly providing more than $30,000 of arts and crafts materials to nursing homes in ten states.

  • And Rachael Lambin, now 17 from Nevada, created "Kids Helping Kids", a program that educates the community about asthma. Rachael also helped raise funds to support programs including a summer camp she organized.

    Nominations for the 2008 Huggable Heroes will be narrowed down to a field of 141 semifinalists, then 32 finalists and ultimately 12 Huggable Heroes. Seven winners will be from the United States and Puerto Rico. Two of the Huggable Heroes will be selected from the United Kingdom and Ireland, two from Canada and one will be chosen from France. In addition, two Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Associates will also be chosen as Associate Huggable Heroes.

    About 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 370 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 $437 million in fiscal 2006. 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.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: 314.995.3939, x 110
    Phone 2: 314.323.5835
    Phone: 314.423.8000, x 5402
    Phone 2: 314.601.1911


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