On March 8, pancake lovers nationwide can head to IHOP restaurant to enjoy one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in celebration of the brand's annual National Pancake Day. Now in its 11th year, IHOP restaurants will give away millions of free pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and ask guests to leave behind a voluntary donation for their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Shriners Hospital for Children, and other local charities.
In what has become a cultural phenomenon, over the last 10 years, National Pancake Day has raised $20 million for meaningful local charities. Last year alone, IHOP restaurants served 6.6 million free pancakes—which would have created a stack nearly 19 miles high—and raised $3.5 million for children's charities.
In 2016, IHOP aims to raise another $3.5 million. All donations collected will remain in the local communities where they are raised and will be used to fund life-saving equipment, research, community outreach events, educational tools, and much more.
This year, in keeping with the focus on bringing neighbors together to help the community, local members of Kiwanis International and its affiliated clubs, including Key Club and Circle K, will join volunteers from the charities to help spread the message in the restaurants that every donation matters.
National Pancake Day has extended its influence beyond U.S. borders to countries such as Mexico, Canada, and the Philippines. For the third consecutive year, IHOP restaurants in Canada will participate in the fundraiser by supporting Children's Miracle Network. Additionally, IHOP locations in Mexico will once again raise money for Asociación Mexicana de Ayuda a Niños con Cáncer (AMANC). Funds raised by IHOP restaurants in the Philippines will benefit The Kythe Foundation.
"Every pancake we give away has a purpose on National Pancake Day. Through the generosity of our guests and the hard work and commitment of our franchisees and their team members, we will help fund life-saving treatment and care for children in need," says Darren Rebelez, president, International House of Pancakes, LLC. "On behalf of everyone in the IHOP family, we are so grateful to our guests who have turned this into such an incredible event that truly makes a difference in the lives of these kids."
Prior to National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals will also sell "Miracle Balloons" for $1 and $5. The balloons will be available for purchase beginning February 1 through March 8. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a $5 discount coupon that can be used during their next visit to IHOP. Restaurant locations that are supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will offer similar programs.