The Chicago Sun-Times reports Kevin Turk hatched the idea to celebrate the Oscar-winning actor while engrossed in the legendary Forrest Gump eight years ago. While sipping on Forrest’s favorite drink of Dr. Pepper (and maybe there was a little rum in there too, he notes), Turk and his friends decided to devote one day each year to Mr. Hanks.
(More on TIME.com: See photos from Tom’s iconic movies)
The idea took off – even promoted gleefully by Tom himself on Jimmy Kimmel Live – and Turk and his fellow Gump/Apollo 13/Cast Away lovers are gathering at a Chicago bar to celebrate with a movie marathon.
But even though the day consists of Hanks fans simply sitting in front of TVs, there is a larger mission behind the madness. The organizers are raising money for Hanks’ favorite charity, Lifeline Energy, an organization that focuses on bringing eco-friendly technology to underdeveloped nations.
NewsFeed thinks it’s about time we celebrate, because thanks to Hanks, we’ll never look at a box of chocolates the same, and we will forever know how to play Chopsticks on the piano.
(More on TIME.com: See Tom Hanks on TIME’s cover)