A Beary Happy Holiday Movie Event at the 24:1 Cinema

A full house of families celebrated the holiday season at the 24:1 Cinema for a free screening of the Build-A-Bear movie “Glisten and the Merry Mission.” The Dec. 23 event came about through Beyond Housing’s relationship with the Build-A-Bear Foundation, which donated hundreds of teddy bears for the children who attended the movie.

Altogether, the organization’s Hearts ‘n’ Hugs Fund donated more than 800 bears, valued at over $16,000, to be distributed to families in the 24:1 Community who faced economic challenges this holiday season.

“We’re excited to support the holiday initiatives at Beyond Housing, right here in our own backyard in St Louis,” said SiSi Beltrán, Vice President and Executive Director of the Build-A-Bear Foundation and Cause Marketing. “We’re also excited to be able to add to the excitement around our new holiday movie ‘Glisten and the Merry Mission’!”

The 24:1 Cinema was already planning to screen the Build-A-Bear movie when the idea for this event came about, said General Manager Brian Beedie. After Beyond Housing’s family engagement liaisons within the Normandy Schools Collaborative helped spread the word, eligible families claimed all the tickets within an hour. “It’s an awesome way to give back to the community.”

Beltrán said Build-A-Bear likewise is honored to be able to give back to the St. Louis region, where the company opened its first store and still has its Bearquarters. “We know the joy a teddy bear hugs can bring children,” she said. “Over the past 25 years, we have donated more than $22 million and 1.5 million furry friends to charitable causes—that is 1.5 million furry friends to provide comfort and hugs.”

Beedie said events like this one help build awareness about the cinema, which is owned and operated by Beyond Housing in Pagedale, where the nonprofit has been investing in transformational change for more than a decade. “Having an entertainment space adds to the community’s value and makes people want to live within this neighborhood,” Beedie said. In addition to showing first-run movies, the theater also hosts everything from mental health fairs to prayer services to graduations.

Along with the services and resources Beyond Housing offers, giving tangible gifts to families in need at the holidays is a way to bring joy during what can otherwise be a stressful season, said Chris Krehmeyer, President and CEO of Beyond Housing. “The challenges faced by the families we serve are many, and our work mainly focuses on crisis intervention to aspirational achievement. The simple idea of events like this is to acknowledge the hard work that so many in our community carry out each day. We hope the holiday support boosts their spirits and reminds them that we are here for them.”

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