GLENDALE, CA (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Immediately following her crowning as Miss America 2010 on Saturday, Caressa Cameron announced that she will serve as spokesperson for IHOP's fifth National Pancake Day celebration benefitting Children's Miracle Network. Hoping to raise more than $1.75 million for children's hospital programs, IHOP will give away millions of its signature buttermilk pancakes on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In return, America's favorite restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner asks that guests make a voluntary donation to support local children's hospitals through Children's Miracle Network, and other local charities.
"I am delighted that as Miss America 2010, I will have the opportunity to kick-off my reign as a national Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network and its fundraising partnership with IHOP on National Pancake Day," said Caressa Cameron. "Five million dollars over five years is an impressive fundraising feat, and I look forward to working closely with IHOP and Children's Miracle Network to turn this goal into a reality."
Miss America's announcement coincides today with IHOP's kick-off of Children's Miracle Network paper balloon icon sales at restaurants nationwide. $1 and $5 balloons are available at participating IHOP restaurants through February 23, 2010 as part of the company's month-long fundraising effort that culminates with free pancakes for all. Hoping to raise a cumulative $5 million in its fifth year of hosting National Pancake Day, IHOP is offering a $5 balloon for the first time which includes a bounce-back incentive of $5 off on a future visit to participating restaurants. Balloons will be personalized by guests and displayed through National Pancake Day at participating restaurants. 100% of funds raised through the balloon sales and on National Pancake Day will benefit the local Children's Miracle Network hospital and stay in the community in which the funds were raised.
IHOP launched its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006 with the goal to benefit the communities in which it operates. Last year's fundraiser was the largest one-day event in IHOP's 51-year history by giving away three million pancakes and raising nearly $1.5 million for local children's hospitals and other worthy causes. To date, IHOP has raised more than $3.25 million dollars in support of local charities and hopes to raise at least $1.75 million in 2010.
"National Pancake Day is the perfect occasion to bring together families and friends, while raising funds for the communities where IHOP restaurants operate," said Carolyn O'Keefe, IHOP's senior vice president, marketing. "We congratulate Caressa on her coronation as Miss America and we're excited to partner with her and the Miss America Organization in support of Children's Miracle Network, and continue to make a difference in the lives of children across the country."
For 51 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, 2009, there were 1,433 IHOPs in 50 states, Canada and Mexico. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance.
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.
***NOTE TO EDITORS: For centuries, the English have 'flipped' for pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday, which heralds the beginning of fasting during Lent. Long ago, 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. While IHOP's National Pancake Day typically takes place on Shrove Tuesday, this year the company will host its free pancake event on Tuesday, February 23, extending the fundraising window by one week to maximize donations for Children's Miracle Network.