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National Pancake Day: Get three free pancakes

National Pancake Day 2011 is the sixth national pancake day sponsored by IHOP, which is raising money for children's hospitals.

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Two patrons get ready to order their free pancakes at an IHOP in West Palm Beach during IHOP's National Pancake Day in 2009. This year the celebration takes place Tuesday, March 1, and offers three free pancakes to customers who walk through the door.

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press/Newscom/File

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It’s IHOP National Pancake Day 2011 and, once again, the nearly 1,500 IHOP restaurants are offering a free “short stack” – three pancakes – to anyone who comes through the doors on Tuesday, March 1.

There are no strings attached – officially, at least.

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Still, the International House of Pancakes chain, based in Glendale, Calif., suggests that customers make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

A few restaurants in smaller markets suggest donations to local charities. But the main focus is on the hospitals. Since its first National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised $5.4 million for the network.

“Every year, we have exceeded our goal,” says Terry Wills, a spokeswoman for IHOP. The chain’s goal this year is $2.3 million.