From the Shriners Hospital website:
A Perfect Combination: Enjoy Free Pancakes while Helping our Patients
February 15, 2011
On March 1, International House of Pancakes (IHOP) will celebrate National Pancake Day by offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. With every short stack of pancakes served, diners will be invited to make a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children. View a list of IHOP locations supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children here.
The restaurant chain has set an ambitious goal of raising more than $2 million in this one-day event, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to raising funds, the campaign will raise awareness of Shriners Hospitals for Children, a 22-hospital health care system – founded by the Shriners International fraternity – that provides children with the best available pediatric specialty care regardless of the patients’ ability to pay for services. More than 1 million children have benefited from the unique approach to health care offered by Shriners Hospitals for Children®, turned adversity into achievement, and gone on to live happy, fulfilled lives.
From Ultimateclearlake.com in Houston, TX:
Before he joined the Shriners, Houstonian Mitchell Wang, owner of two IHOP restaurants, participated in the organization's fundraiser, IHOP National Pancake Day, and saw a worthy cause. His customers were getting free shortstacks of buttermilk pancakes for a donation to Shriners Hospitals.
Wang was so impressed that he himself joined to become a FreeMason at Masonic Blue Lodge 1417 in Clear Lake, the first step in becoming a Shriner. Both Masons and Shriners are part of a fraternal order, many who help support the hospitals. Wang then worked up to petition for membership and has become a fez-wearing Shriner himself.
“I never really knew how to join Shriners until the second year I participated in National Pancake Day. One of the wives of the Shriners said, ‘Just ask one of the men and they will show you the way.’
"This is one of the best things I’ve ever joined,” he said. “Masons and Shriners are good people who are very community-oriented. They make you feel like you belong and you are one of them, not an outsider because you happen to be Chinese or other background,” Wang said.