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IHOP hopes to raise $3.5M on National Pancake Day

Attention, flapjack lovers. It's National Pancake Day.

It's National Pancake Day!!!
Brett Stevens | Getty Images

The food day, started by IHOP in 2006, offers diners a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes on March 8, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Last year, the all-day-breakfast chain served 6.6 million free pancakes, a stack, IHOP said, that would reach nearly 19 miles high.

Although it competes with Shrove Tuesday, an annual pancake holiday that takes place before Ash Wednesday, IHOP's National Pancake Day is more about fundraising than it is about pancakes.

The International House of Pancakes uses National Pancake Day to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospital for Children and other nonprofits. In 2015, IHOP raised $3.5 million for children's charities by asking diners for donations.

"Every pancake we give away has a purpose on National Pancake Day," Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, said in a statement. "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."

Since its inception, National Pancake day has helped the organization raise around $20 million for charities. This year, IHOP hopes to collect another $3.5 million for charity.

There are more than 1,600 IHOP locations in the world, and locations in the U.S., Mexico, the Phillippines and Canada participate in the fundraiser. Nearly all U.S. stores participate in the promotion, excepting airport locations.