Renowned Giftmaker Russ Berrie Urges People To ?Give Your Heart To Someone In Need? On Valentines Day

February 14, 2001

Jennifer Boutote

Carolyn Conway

(212) 656-5923

(212) 305-3900




Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (NYSE: RUS) Chairman, Founder and CEO

Invites Children Being Treated at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center to Join

Him as He Rings the Opening Bell

at the New York Stock Exchange

WHAT: On Valentine’s Day—a day when people all over the world

celebrate love—Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (NYSE: RUS) Chairman, Founder

and CEO Russ Berrie will urge people everywhere to “give your heart to

someone in need” by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

WHO: Mr. Berrie, one of the world’s most generous corporate philanthropists,

will be joined on the bell podium with his wife Angelica and four children

who are being treated at a facility largely funded by his contributions--the

Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia-Presbyterian.  The patients

include 6-year-old Jordan Gershenson, 9-year-old Jonathan Kukin, 10-year-old

Larry Sorrel and 11-year-old David Kukin.

WHY:  Mr. Berrie, who has diabetes himself, is taking advantage

of the Valentine’s Day holiday to honor four children who, like him, must

take treatment every day for their diabetes.  “It’s a disease never

takes a vacation,” Mr. Berrie says.  “If you know someone with diabetes,

please reach out to them with your compassion and support.  These

brave children—and everyone else in the world who has diabetes—need encouragement

to help them wage their daily battles against this disease.”

WHEN:  Wednesday, February 14, 2001

9 a.m. media enters through 18 Broad St.

9:30 a.m. opening bell rings

Mr. Berrie will be available for interviews between 9:40 and 10:30


WHERE:   New York Stock Exchange – between Wall Street

and Exchange Place

PHOTOS/VIDEO:  Photos will be available via Associated Press/New

York (212/621-1902). The opening bell (starting at 9:25 a.m.) feed can

be accessed by fiber line at Waterfront #1630. The NYSE Daily News Feed

is available from 2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (EST) via satellite at Telstar

6, Transponder 4, C-Band, Audio 6.2 and 6.8 and by fiber line at Waterfront

#1630. A re-broadcast of the NYSE Daily News Feed is also available following

the closing bell feed (starting at 3:55 p.m.) and can be accessed by fiber

line at Waterfront #1630.

BACKGROUND: Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. is headquartered in

Oakland, New Jersey.  The company designs, develops and distributes

more than 6,000 seasonal and everyday gift products to retailers worldwide.

Its diverse range of products includes everything from teddy bears and

stuffed animals to baby gifts, picture frames, candles, figurines and home

décor gifts.

“The Care Until the Cure”:  It's more than a motto; it defines

the very purpose of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.  Just a few

short years ago, access to comprehensive, multidisciplinary diabetes care

was not available in New York -- a city that prides itself for providing

the best medical care in the world. Now, thanks to the generous contributions

of Russ Berrie, and others, a new standard of diabetes care is available

to the 1.6 million people with diabetes in the New York area.  The

Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia-Presbyterian--named after Russ

Berrie's mother who, like her son, had diabetes--was established in July

1997.  It opened in its permanent space at the Russ Berrie Medical

Science Pavilion at Columbia-Presbyterian in October 1998.



BACKGROUND, Columbia Presbyterian, Russ Berrie, WHO