Image courtesy of Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™

What started with a proclamation by Pittsburgh City Council, and continued with setting a world record for the “Largest Hug Under a Tent,” will now culminate on Thursday, September 6, 2012 with Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™ Day in our city — when Pittsburgh hugs the world and home-town charities. There will be celebrity huggers at four downtown locations during that day and a gala celebration at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh in the evening. Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™ wants you to “Think how good it’s going to feel to hug a fan, hug a constituent, hug a customer, hug a stranger, and put some light in someone’s life!” Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™ will raise money for four charities: Cancer Caring Center, Sickle Cell Society, Pittsburgh Passion’s Passion for Life and Operation Troop Appreciation.

Image courtesy of Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™™ is organizing the event and Building Bridges for Business is a supporting sponsor. Current celebrity huggers include: J. T. Thomas, Hall of Fame Steeler; Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh City Councilman; Varol Ablak, CEO and President, Vocelli Pizza; Joanne Quinn Smith, Techno Granny; Veronica Burress, Pittsburgh Passion OL/DL; Melissa Gasdick, Pittsburgh Passion DB; Tammy Spencer, Pittsburgh Passion WR; Becky Auer, 6.5 Million Dollar Woman; Joe Hladiuk, Macy’s General Manager; Jessica Lee, Entrepreneurial Thursdays; Kelli Robbins, Contact One Communications.

Besides raising money for the four worthy, local charities, you also get the benefit of the hugs! Hugs have been shown to:

• Reduce heart rates

• Improve overall moods

• Lower blood pressure

• Increase nerve activity

• And have a host of other beneficial effects

For more information, or to register, or to sign up as a sponsor, please go to the Hug-a-Thon Pittsburgh™ website. All the latest news can be found at their Facebook page.

Hugaphobic? You can also donate directly here.