GLENDALE, Calif., Mar 06, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --It was pancake pandemonium throughout the United States on February 28, as hundreds of thousands of pancake lovers and loyal guests flocked to the more than 1,500 IHOP(R) restaurants nationwide to participate in what has become a cultural phenomenon known as IHOP's National Pancake Day.
In its seventh year, National Pancake Day, IHOP's annual free flapjack fundraiser, shattered a fundraising record, raising more than $3 million in donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities. Media outlets from across the country covered the event, and Americans from all walks of life - including celebrities and athletes - buzzed about it on social media, making National Pancake Day a top trending topic on Google and Twitter and helping IHOP beat its 2011 fundraising total of $2.5 million by more than 20 percent.
"Only an American icon like IHOP could inspire such enthusiasm and generosity in small and large communities throughout the country," said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. "National Pancake Day has gone viral and grows in popularity every year, as more and more people give from their hearts and their pockets to help improve and save the lives of children in their neighborhoods."
On National Pancake Day 2012, IHOP gave away nearly four million of its famous buttermilk pancakes, which adds up to a stack almost 16 miles high and a lot of help for kids in need. Including this year's donations, IHOP has raised more than $10 million since its first National Pancake Day celebration in 2006.
"The response to National Pancake Day is inspiring and humbling," said Jean Birch, president of IHOP. "What started as a grassroots effort is now a highly-anticipated and extremely successful national event that continues to exceed our expectations and demonstrates America's giving spirit. We are truly amazed by the generosity of our guests and our franchisees, who do so much to help us give something back to the communities in which we operate."
Funds raised on National Pancake Day stay in the communities where they are raised to support Children's Miracle Network Hospital programs and other worthy causes nationwide.
For 53 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. As of December 31, 2011, there were 1,550 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME(R), consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at leading retailers. 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 raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, 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 the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at CMNHospitals.org.