Families of Tennessee's Military to Benefit From Month-Long Fund Drive

Popular Smoky Mountain Tourism Attraction Boyds Bear Country to Donate Restaurant Tips, Customer Contributions to Tennessee's Military Families


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., April 27, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- "The World's Most Humongous Teddy Bear Store" didn't earn its moniker with small gestures.

In overstuffed trademark fashion, Boyds Bear Country, the warehouse-sized superstore dedicated to stuffed bears, hares and other collectibles here, is earmarking the entire month of May for a charitable campaign to help Tennessee's military families.

All month long, Boyds Bear Country will raise funds for the families of Tennessee's service men and women who might need food, supplies, or financial support.

Presently, more than 4,000 Tennesseans are deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or dozens of other high-risk training, security or conflict operations worldwide.

"Their departures leave many families broken, a catastrophic event can leave them close to being broke," said Will Edwards, manager of the 110,000-square foot Boyds Bear Country. "This is our way of supporting those who are supporting us."

Employees of the store's 500-seat restaurant have already volunteered 100% of the tips they receive throughout the month. Additionally, Boyds' customers choosing to donate can do so at any checkout register, or at donation boxes throughout the store.

The store, which expects more than 1.2 million guests in 2005, is one of the top tourism attractions in Tennessee, and one of the most trafficked in the Southeast.

"This is a very generous show of support by Boyd's Bear Country," said National Guard spokesman Randy Harris. "The sacrifice the families of our deployed Soldiers and Airmen make is immeasurable, and although most of these families are not facing serious financial hardships, there are cases where assistance is needed. This endeavor will enable our Family Readiness Groups to assist further when that need arises."

"Such contributions, whether for the spouses, children, parents or siblings, is a meaningful overture these families will not forget," Harris said.

Said David Miller, Boyds' Vice President of marketing: "Something like this is easy when it's for something you believe in. This event is a small way for Boyds to let the families of the military women and men know that we're thinking about them."

About The Boyds Collection Ltd.

The Boyds Collection, Ltd. is a leading designer and manufacturer of high quality, branded and handcrafted collectibles and other specialty gift products. Boyds sells its affordably priced "Folksy with Attitude" collectibles through a large network of retailers and other channels, including Boyds Bear Country(tm) retail stores. The company is publicly traded (NYSE:FOB). More can be found at www.boydsstuff.com

Address: 149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge

 -- Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 
 -- For high-resolution photos, please email: mark@thinkmediainc.com.
 -- Additional donations can be made payable to the Military Families 
    Fund, c/o, Boyds Bear Country, 149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 

The Boyds Collection, Ltd. logo can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.primezone.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=1274


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