IHOP Batters Up to Raise $1,000,000 for Charity on National Pancake Day

IHOP to Serve Free Flapjacks Nationwide on February 24, 2009

Glendale, CA,(MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has announced plans to serve millions of free pancakes in celebration of National Pancake Day on February 24, 2009. The celebration is designed to bring together friends and family, as well as to raise $1 million for Children's Miracle Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children's hospitals, and other worthy causes.

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," said 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.

About Children'S Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals. Countless individuals, 90 organizations and 400 media partners unite with Children's Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children's Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year. To learn more go to ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org.

About Ihop

For 50 years, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world famous pancakes and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are loved by people of all ages. IHOP offers its guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. The first IHOP opened in Toluca Lake, Calif. in 1958, and as of September 30, 2008, there were 1,375 IHOPs in 49 states, Canada and Mexico. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP, a subsidiary of DineEquity Inc. (NYSE: DIN).

SOURCE: IHOP

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