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National Hug an Anchor Day is coming!

YouTube video shows residents of Arrow Senior Living Management community preparing to vote for the most squeezable TODAY show news anchor for National Hug a News Anchor Day on April 4.
YouTube video shows residents of Arrow Senior Living Management community preparing to vote for the most squeezable TODAY show news anchor for National Hug a News Anchor Day on April 4.YouTube

By Jillian Eugenios

The campaign has begun to find the most huggable anchor for National Hug a News Anchor Day, which will be held on April 4, 2012.

The residents of Arrow Senior Living Management communities in O’Fallon, Missouri have kicked off the festivities with a video featuring cardboard cut-outs of their favorite anchor. Not only can they be seen dancing with cut-outs of Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Kathie Lee Gifford, there’s even a shot of someone trying to feed Matt peas. 

The residents of the communities held a Senior Hug Primary in early March, with the crowds voting for the most squeezable. TODAY scored big, with Matt, Ann and Kathie Lee gaining the lead (shhhh – don’t tell Hoda Kotb). The three will now compete against each other for the title. 

In an interview with TODAY.com, Amanda Tweten, the COO of the company behind the senior communities, said her residents “were so excited to get their picture taken with them. I can’t tell you how many people tried to kiss Matt Lauer’s face. The gentlemen loved Kathie Lee. Everyone is really excited.”

Some of the footage didn’t make it to the video, including a Kathie Lee cocktail hour. During the cocktail hour residents drank pink martinis and toasted to their favorite anchor. “The Kathie Lee supporters are pretty hard core,” Tweten said. “They were having a dance party – literally.” The seniors will vote next week, and Tweten promises that they’ll post the footage. 

National Hug an Anchor Day began in 2009 on “Fox and Friends,” when anchor Clayton Morris constructed a street-side hugging booth in midtown Manhattan with Dave Briggs and meteorologist Rick Reichmuth. The hugging on inaugural National Hug an Anchor Day wasn’t entirely successful, with people eyeing Morris suspiciously instead of running into his arms, but the sentiment was there and National Hug and Anchor Day is now celebrated as a national holiday. 

Want to show your favorite anchor some love? Celebrate by tweeting your vote at #SeniorsHugToday.

TODAY.com contributor Jillian Eugenios is keeping her vote under her hat, but is secretly hoping for an invite to a Kathie Lee cocktail party.