MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Pancake lovers across the state and region will flock to their local IHOP® restaurant on March 8 to enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in celebration of the brand’s annual National Pancake Day to benefit WVU Medicine Children’s and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®.

IHOP restaurants in Barboursville, Beckley, Bridgeport, Charleston, Morgantown, and South Charleston in West Virginia and Ashland, Ky., will give away free pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and ask guests to leave behind a voluntary donation for WVU Medicine Children’s, the state’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

In what has become a cultural phenomenon, over the last 10 years, National Pancake Day has raised $20 million for meaningful local charities. Last year alone, IHOP restaurants served 6.6 million free pancakes — which would have created a stack nearly 19 miles high — and raised $3.5 million for children’s charities. This included a record $30,009 raised for WVU Medicine Children’s.

“Every pancake we give away has a purpose on National Pancake Day. Through the generosity of our guests and the hard work and commitment of our franchisees and their team members, we will help fund life-saving treatment and care for children in need,” Darren Rebelez, president, International House of Pancakes, LLC, said. “On behalf of everyone in the IHOP family, we are so grateful to our guests who have turned this into such an incredible event that truly makes a difference in the lives of these kids.”

Prior to National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will also sell “Miracle Balloons” for $1 and $5. The balloons will be available for purchase through March 8. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a $5 discount coupon that can be used during their next visit to IHOP.

For more information on National Pancake Day, please visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

About WVU Medicine Children’s
WVU Medicine Children’s – located on the sixth floor of Ruby Memorial, WVU Medicine’s flagship hospital – provides maternal, infant, and pediatric care for West Virginia and the surrounding region, giving care to high-risk mothers, premature infants, and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood. For information on WVU Medicine Children’s, see www.wvukids.com.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity's Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit's mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children's hospitals need community support, identify your member hospital and learn how you can Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

About International House of Pancakes, LLC
For over 57 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader and expert in all things breakfast and a leader in family dining. The chain is highly competitive in its menu offering, serving 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options as well as meals under 600 calories. Beyond offering “everything you love about breakfast,” IHOP restaurants have a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, as well. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of September 30, 2015, there were 1,667 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the Philippines, Guam, 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).

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, Manager of Media Relations, 304-293-7087