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IHOP to serve free pancakes for charity Feb. 5

Lorraine Mirabella

2:25 PM EST, January 8, 2013

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What’s better than IHOP pancakes? Free IHOP pancakes.

The restaurant chain’s National Pancake Day will be back Feb. 5, when diners will be served complimentary buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers also will be encouraged to make a contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or other local charities.

The company hopes to raise $3 million during its largest philanthropic event of the year. IHOP has raised more than $10 million for local charities in the eight years it has run the event.

"We plan to once again flip and serve about four million free pancakes for charity," Julia Stewart, interim president of IHOP and CEO of parent company DineEquity Inc., said in a statement.

The company said its event will take place a week before Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday, a tradition that dates back several centuries to when the English prepared for fasting during Lent. Pancakes were made to use up all the eggs, milk and butter that were prohibited during Lent.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com