In the past four years of celebrating National Pancake Day, IHOPs around the country have raised $3.25 million to support community charities.
This year, the restaurant’s goal is to hit $5 million.
From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, each customer will receive a free short stack, which consists of three pancakes. Customers are encouraged to then leave a donation. The IHOPs in Arizona, such as the one located at 5020 E. Ray Road, are raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Obviously this is a really fun and simple way to get involved,” said Aubrey Cichelli, spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Each year, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children – children with cancer, pediatric AIDS, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, leukemia, accident trauma and more.
“We raise funds for 170 children’s hospitals around the country, so pretty much any IHOP you go to there’s one nearby that will directly benefit from your donation,” Cichelli said.
The funds raised to benefit Children’s Miracle Network are used by the hospitals for new equipment, patient services, research programs and health education.
Morgan Fukumoto, spokesperson for IHOP, said the restaurant served more than 3 million free pancakes in 2009.
“It’s all day long so you can go in the morning or you can go to dinner,” Cichelli said. “We’re really encouraging people not only to enjoy the free pancakes but also leave a donation, knowing that it will directly benefit children in their community.”
Customers who wish to donate can either drop money in the collection box at the front of the restaurant, give their donation to their server, or purchase $1 or $5 “Miracle Balloons” on which they can write their name. The balloons will be displayed in the restaurant. The purchase of a $5 balloon entitles the customer to a $5 voucher toward their next IHOP purchase.
For those who have run out of string to tie around their fingers as reminders, can have NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, newly crowned 2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron, entertainer and Children’s Miracle Network co-founder Marie Osmond or entertainer Monique Coleman call with a personal reminder message on Feb. 23.
For more information, call the IHOP in Ahwatukee Foothills at (480) 598-0887 or visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.