Free Buttermilk Pancakes

We get a lot of weird press releases at CityBeat. Many are from businesses looking for free publicity when all they have to offer is made-up news. But this one was just too good to ignore, even if it were just for the recognition of National Pancake Day.—-

Tomorrow, Feb. 24, IHOP will host a National Pancake Day Celebration to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

“IHOP Restaurants nationwide will offer guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network,” says a press release from the company. “With a goal to raise $1 million, funds will benefit children’s hospitals and other charities throughout the United States. Also known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day has been celebrated for centuries in England, with a tradition and lore all its own.

“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. The tradition and lore behind this ‘delicious’ holiday would make for an entertaining.”

In Cincinnati, every short stack of pancakes served will include an opportunity for diners to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network program at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Sound too corny to be true? Here are some stats from previous events:

• 1.5 million free pancakes were served on National Pancake Day 2008

• All of the free pancakes served would create a stack more than 12 miles high.

• Last year, pancake lovers donated more than $875,000 to children’s charities

• Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly two million dollars to support charities

So if you’re in the mood for some flapjacks, stop in 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. and order a short stack. Need to find an IHOP near you? Visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

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