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International Tom Hanks Day Is Tomorrow!

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That’s right, everyone. Set your alarms early and get ready for an 18-hour Money Pit marathon, because March 26th is “International” Tom Hanks Day.

I throw those quotation marks around “international” because it isn’t really celebrated by multiple nations. In fact, it used to be called “National Tom Hanks Day,” but that isn’t quite accurate, either. The holiday is the brainchild of Kevin Turk, a Chicago sales exec, who came up with the idea one day in college, when he and his friends were hanging out and drinking Dr. Pepper and rum and coke (a drink featured prominently in Forrest Gump).

Somehow, Turk managed to relay his idea to Hanks himself, who yearly sends Turk various memorabilia to commemorate the event: for example, signed DVD’s and posters, throwback cases of Dr. Pepper, and 20-pound logs of bologna accompanied by Hanks’ famous recipe.

The larger purpose of this fun little event? To support Hanks’ favorite charity, Lifeline Energy, an organization devoted to solving energy poverty in Africa. All donations made at the International Tom Hanks Day celebration will go toward Lifeline Energy, and Hanks will match the total donation amount.

For you Chicagoan readers, the celebration will take place tomorrow at Fizz Bar & Grill, 3220 N. Lincoln, from noon til 6pm. Turk will be screening various Hanks favorites and forgotten classics, and PBR will be $1. (Can’t beat that deal!) Additionally, you can pick up this year’s International Tom Hanks Day t-shirt, which is themed after Toy Story 3.

Watch Hanks talk about the event in a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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