GLENDALE, CA, Feb 02, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Imagine, instead of the pounding sound of an unwelcome alarm clock, that you could have a teen heartthrob, an NFL Hall of Famer, or one of the most beautiful women in America start your day with a wake up call?
Today, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals announced that a number of its celebrity supporters have joined forces to support the organization's annual IHOP National Pancake Day fundraiser hoping to raise $2.3 million for kids in need throughout the United States. Among the list of high-profile volunteers who will "wake up" fans and encourage them to seek out free flapjacks on Tuesday, March 1, are NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' Co-Founders John Schneider and Marie Osmond, singer David Archuleta, and the recently crowned Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan. Wake up calls can be requested at www.IHOPPancakeDay.com through Friday, February 25, 2011.
"National Pancake Day is one of our most significant fundraisers of the year and we are very fortunate to have so much celebrity support," said John Lauck, president and CEO, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. "To date, IHOP has helped raise more than $5 million in five years and we have set an ambitious goal in 2011 to bring the total amount raised to more than $7.5 million."
On National Pancake Day, March 1, 2011, IHOP will give guests one free short stack of its signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at more than 1,500 restaurants throughout the United States. In return, IHOP asks that guests make a voluntary donation to support local children's hospitals through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.
Additionally, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' "Miracle Balloons" are being sold for $1 and $5 each and can be personalized and displayed at participating IHOP restaurants through March 1, 2011. Miracle Balloons offer guests an additional way to show their support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and contribute to the IHOP National Pancake Day fundraising effort.
IHOP launched its National Pancake Day fundraising effort 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 52-year history as four million pancakes were given away and more than $2.1 million was raised for local children's hospitals and other worthy causes.
For more information about National Pancake Day, to find a local IHOP, or to donate to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, please visit www.IHOPPancakeDay.com.
For 52 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, 2010, there were 1,483 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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).
ABOUT CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS Children's Miracle Network Hospitals(R) raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at CMNHospitals.org.
***NOTE TO EDITORS: Pancake Day is a tradition that 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. In 2011, IHOP's National Pancake Day will come one week early, as the popular annual campaign has evolved into a month-long celebration that takes place during the month of February. It will culminate with the free flapjack giveaway on March 1.