Here's how it works from IHOP's National Pancake Day site:
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 beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly two million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $1,000,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2009!
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.
So go get your pancake on and help out the children. This is a great cause and the DIFF salutes IHOP for making a really nice and really tasty gesture!