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Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Introduces Champ - A Champion Fur Kids; Children's Health and Wellness Initiatives Find Support From a Furbulous New Friend.

ST. LOUIS -- Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) (NYSE: BBW) is pleased to announce this beary special teddy bear, Champ - A Champion Fur Kids, to support the health and wellness needs of children and their families. Champ will be available in Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and at beginning August 25.

Champ embodies the Build-A-Bear Workshop philosophy of supporting children and their families who are working to overcome health obstacles and meet wellness challenges. For each Champ bear purchased ($18), $1 will go toward the support of children's health and wellness causes.

Thousands of children in the United States must endure ongoing health issues such as diabetes, cancer, autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and hearing, vision and speech limitations. Many other children go hungry, do not know where they will sleep at night or simply need extra guidance with choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Champ - A Champion Fur Kids is a brave fighter with patches representing these various struggles. Some kids dealing with health or wellness issues wear their patches on the outside, some on the inside. It doesn't matter; they are all fighters like Champ. Champ lives by the philosophy that it is alright to let your stuffing show, letting kids know that needing help and sharing your feelings is OK.

Champ is inspired by the brave and generous spirit of Nikki Giampolo, a special Build-A-Bear Workshop friend. Nikki loved life, children and teddy bears. In 2002, before she lost her battle with cancer at age 15, Nikki shared her love by giving bears and their hugs to all those around her. Inspired by Nikki, Build-A-Bear Workshop launched the Nikki's Bear series of stuffed animals that helped raise money for children's charities. Champ's purple patch heart is a symbol of Nikki, and this new bear builds on her legacy and provides encouragement to all kids like her that so bravely deal with what life gives them.

"Nikki was an incredible kid who fought cancer with great strength and determination, and she really loved teddy bears," said Gail Giampolo, Nikki's mother. "She would be so pleased to know that her love of sharing teddy bears and her desire to help other kids inspired Champ. I know that Champ will help thousands of other children deal with their illnesses courageously."

"We receive so many letters from Guests about the importance of teddy bears, especially when a child is facing an illness or difficult time and needs an extra special teddy bear hug," said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Founder and Chief Executive Bear. "Champ is a real champion for kids and gives them the strength to be brave, the courage to face any challenge and the heart to live each day to the fullest. The money we raise with Champ will directly benefit the organizations and causes that assist these children."

Charities that support beary special health causes such as juvenile diabetes, autism, children's cancer research, or one of the many valuable wellness causes like nutrition or child safety may apply for a Champ grant through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation. Just visit or email for more information.

To celebrate the launch of Champ and kick-off the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation, Build-A-Bear Workshop will be making an initial grant of $20,000 to children's health and wellness groups across the country.

For more information about Champ - A Champion Fur Kids or to find a store in your area, visit

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. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 255 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded the make-your-own concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of its first friends 2B made(R) stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends. In April 2006, Build-A-Bear Workshop acquired The Bear Factory Limited and Amsbra, Ltd. adding company-owned stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $362 million in fiscal 2005. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at and


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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(R) should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 22, 2006
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