2009 will mark IHOP's fourth year of celebrating the national event, and nearly 1,400 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will once again invite guests to enjoy a free short stack of IHOP's signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In return, IHOP guests are asked to donate what they would have paid for the free pancakes, or more, to their local children's hospital or another worthy cause. Additionally, Miracle Balloons will be sold for $1 each, personalized and displayed at participating IHOP restaurants from February 1 through February 24, 2009, offering guests another way to show their support of Children's Miracle Network and contribute to the National Pancake Day fundraising effort.
"IHOP is thrilled to bring families and communities together in support of the efforts of Children's Miracle Network and other local charities on National Pancake Day," says Des Hague, IHOP's president. "We want to thank our guests who helped us raise $875,000 to support Children's Miracle Network and other local charities last year, and we ask them to join us again to surpass our fundraising goal for 2009."
Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products ... hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.
Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $2 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. In 2008, IHOP gave away more than 1.5 million pancakes and raised over $875,000 in support of Children's Miracle Network and other local charities, far exceeding its goal to raise $750,000.