COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you're waking up extra hungry this morning, IHOP restaurants in the Midlands and nationwide are serving up free short stacks of pancakes all day long.
This is the eighth year that IHOP is giving away free pancakes on National Pancake Day, in hopes that customers will give back by leaving a donation for the Children's Miracle Network (CMN).
All six IHOP locations in the Midlands are participating in the national event which has raised more than $10 million dollars for CMN since 2006. Last year, IHOP broke their $2.5 million goal when they received more than $3 million in donations. This year, the restaurant chain says their goal is to raise more than $3 million again.
Children's Miracle Network is a support network for a chain of 170 children's hospital's nationwide, including Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia. The funds donated through CMN help hospitals continue to provide life-saving servings and programs for sick and injured children.
At the Lexington IHOP on Sunset Boulevard, General Manager Dori Bruccoli says they served up more than 3,000 pancakes last year and raised close to $2,000. She says they're hoping to beat those numbers this year. All of the money raised at all six IHOP locations in the Midlands will go directly to Palmetto Health Children's.
"I think that it's a unique opportunity to touch a child's life by eating pancakes for free, breakfast, lunch or dinner," said Wesley Shaw, with the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital foundation. "You can help save a child's life, [and] I think it's just a great opportunity for everyone in the community to support," said Shaw.
Shaw says at each IHOP location, customers will be greeted by waiters and waitresses in CMN shirts. There is also a blue box that says "Donate Here" located at each restaurant. Shaw says be sure to tip your waiter or waitress and then place your donation in the donate box to ensure your gift is counted.