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Huggable Heros build community and promote entertainment

Build-A-Bear Workshop® Launches Second Search for Huggable Heroessm

Wanted: Incredible Kids Doing "Pawsome" Deeds

Children and teenagers are making a difference in their communities! Build-A-Bear Workshop® solicited public help in finding them. The company took nominations for its annual Huggable Heroes(sm) program which recognizes everyday kids in communities all across North America who go to extraordinary lengths to make life better for others. From collecting food for the hungry to raising money to bring the arts to the elderly, from reaching out to assist animals to reading to children, kids are volunteering and making significant contributions.

"It is humbling to see all the creative things children and teens are doing each day to make this a better world. We want to recognize, encourage, and reward them for their efforts and achievements," said Maxine Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. "There are so many kids with inspiring stories and we look forward to recognizing 170 local semi-finalists and ultimately 12 Huggable Heroes," explained Clark.

Volunteerism is an important attribute to instill in kids. According to a recent study, "Forty-four percent of adults volunteer and two thirds of these adults began volunteering when they were young" (Independent Sector in partnership with Youth Service America, 2004 copyright). In addition, the study showed that those who began volunteering as kids grew up to be the most generous adults in terms of giving time to their communities.

Anyone could nominate a young person doing great things by obtaining an entry form at any Build-A-Bear Workshop store or by downloading a form. Parents, friends, teachers and community leaders were urged to nominate boys and girls, 18 years old and younger.

Entries were narrowed down to a field of 170 semi-finalists, one per store, and then to 29 finalists. From the 29 finalists, the public is invited to vote for their favorite potential Huggable Hero on the Build-A-Bear Workshop website. One young person was named the People's Choice honoree and joined nine other individual honorees, selected by an independent panel of judges, as 2005 Huggable Heroes.

The ten individuals were honored at special ceremonies during the grand opening of the Build-A-Bear Workshop 5th Avenue flagship store in New York City and each also received a donation to the cause they support. During their visit, they participated in a photo shoot with a professional photographer and are featured in the 2006 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes calendar.

In addition, two outstanding groups of kids, one from the U.S. and one from Canada, will be recognized for their efforts. Both groups will also be included in the calendar, receive a donation to their cause and a party at their local Build-A-Bear Workshop store.

In 2004, Build-A-Bear Workshop recognized 15 outstanding kids from all parts of the country. Their efforts ranged from working to save the endangered manatees of Florida to educating a community about asthma. One of last year's Huggable Heroes, William Dunckelman is the Ambassador of the 2005 Huggable Heroes program. William is committed to serving elderly citizens. Last year, the Louisiana native recruited concerned citizens, groups and businesses to help him provide fine arts materials valued at over $30,000 to nursing home sites in ten different states. In addition to his honors as a Huggable Hero, William was recently named one of TEEN PEOPLE's 20 Teens Who Will Change the World.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop, (NYSE: BBW) is the leading and only national company providing a make-your-own stuffed animal interactive, entertainment retail experience. The first store opened in St. Louis in 1997 and as of January 2005 the company operated 170 stores in 40 states and Canada. With the opening of its international store in Sheffield, England in the fall of 2003 and the addition of international stores in Japan, Denmark and Australia in 2004, Build-A-Bear Workshop has become the global leader in the teddy bear business. In November 2004, the company also opened two friends 2B made® stores, the newest concept launch from Build-A-Bear Workshop. For more information about the company and its products call (888) 560-BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at www.buildabear.com.

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