ST. LOUIS, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- The Build-A-Bear Workshop® (NYSE: BBW) Huggable Heroes® program, now in its 10th year, is accepting nominations for young people ages eight to 18 who are doing their part to make the world a better place. Ten Huggable Heroes will each receive $10,000 which includes an educational scholarship, a donation to a charity of their choice, and a mentoring scholarship to support their charitable entrepreneurships.
In celebration of the 10th birthday of its Huggable Heroes program, Build-A-Bear Workshop is joining forces with the prestigious Jefferson Awards for Public Service, one of the nation's top community service recognition programs founded 40 years ago by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard. Through the Jefferson Awards' GLOBECHANGERS training and mentoring systems, the newest generation of philanthropists recognized by Build-A-Bear Workshop will be equipped with the tools they need to build a lifetime of public service.
Each Huggable Hero will be paired with a mentor through the Jefferson Awards GLOBECHANGERS system for a year in order to develop valuable skills for writing business plans, networking and fundraising. The training and on-going support the Huggable Heroes receive from their mentors will enable these future leaders to grow personally and scale their efforts globally.
Over the past ten years, the Huggable Heroes have as a group raised more than $9.4 million, have collected more than 316 million items to donate and recruited thousands of volunteers to extend their efforts. This year, Build-A-Bear Workshop will name 10 Huggable Heroes who are making the most significant impact in their communities and beyond.
Nominations will be accepted through the website buildabear.com/huggableheroes or by mail until February 28, 2013. Nomination forms are also available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Since Build-A-Bear Workshop first launched the Huggable Heroes program in 2004, more than 100 Huggable Heroes have been recognized, and have collectively been awarded nearly one million dollars in donations and scholarships.
"It thrills us to know that as we search for our tenth class of Huggable Heroes we will be meeting more kids with new big ideas and endless energy to make a difference," said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. "We are excited to build on a program that has recognized and rewarded these kids by adding a component of on-going training and mentorship. The guidance our Huggable Heroes will receive through the Jefferson Awards GLOBECHANGERS program will empower these kids to take their projects to even greater heights."
"The young people who earn recognition as Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes are natural leaders with creative and unique projects. We want to help develop their initiatives through our Jefferson Awards GLOBECHANGERS training program," said Sam Beard, philanthropist and co-founder of Jefferson Awards. "We have been impressed by the achievements of the Huggable Heroes from years past and are excited to meet the class of 2013 and help them build their programs."
The Huggable Heroes will also receive a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, home of
Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters, where they will be celebrated for their work, participate in a Jefferson Awards GLOBECHANGERS BOOTCAMP session, take part in a day of service, and have their photos taken to potentially be featured in the Build-A-Bear Workshop 2014 calendar.
Entries will be narrowed down to 80 semifinalists in March and 30 finalists in May. On June 10, selected young people will be named 2013 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes.
To read the stories about past Huggable Heroes, and learn more about the program, visit buildabear.com/huggableheroes.
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. 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 website 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 website at buildabear.com®.
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About the Jefferson Awards for Public Service
The Jefferson Awards was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard as the "Nobel Prize for public service." Named for one of America's most influential Founding Fathers and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the Jefferson Awards' central tenet is that each and every citizen shares a responsibility to work towards the betterment of their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other such efforts to improve life for all. Today, the mission of the Jefferson Awards is to recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and across America. As President John F. Kennedy said, "One person can make a difference and every person should try." To date, over 50,000 individuals of all ages have been recognized by the Jefferson Awards for their efforts to make the world around them a better place. For more information on the Jefferson Awards, visit www.JeffersonAwards.org.
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