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National Pancake Day Has Special Meaning For IHOP Employee

Reported: Mar. 4, 2014 11:44 AM EST
Updated: Mar. 4, 2014 12:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katelyn Sykes) -- It's National Pancake Day at IHOP across the country, Tuesday, where customers can enjoy a free stack of pancakes while helping out a great cause.

The IHOP at the Southridge Shopping Center has been participating in National Pancake Day for the past eight years and the money they collect go towards Children Miracle Network Hospitals. This location benefits WVU Children's Hospital in Morgantown. This day has special meaning for one employee there because her daughter benefited from this organization just three weeks ago.

A short stack of pancakes is going a long way on Tuesday especially for Tonya Harvey. Harvey is a server at the IHOP in Southridge and is serving pancakes with a smile on National Pancake Day. Tonya's 12-year old daughter, Isabella, was just a patient at WVU Children's Hospital in Morgantown.

"We didn't even know anything was wrong with her," she said. "She went for a physical for cheerleading, they heard a murmur, sent her to the doctor in Charleston and they found a little hole in her heart and sent her up to Morgantown. They said it was a pretty good size hole and that she needed surgery."

On February 6, Isabella had open heart surgery and was hospitalized for two weeks. The Children's Miracle Network stepped in to help Isabella, Tonya and their family during their stay.

"They had movies, games, they had a little kitchen and they helped us out a lot," Tonya said.

This IHOP has been taking part in National Pancake Day for the past eight years. In 2013, they raised $4,000 for WVU Children's Miracle Network.

"It is a great hospital," said Tony Harvey, IHOP General Manager. "It is a charity hospital that helps children that don't have insurance, underpriveleged children who don't have the medical needs that they would get here locally so that hospital is a charity hospital that supports that and takes care of those children."

Children just like Isabella Aliff.

"It just makes me feel better," she said.

Taking care of them and their family in their time of need.

"It is important to donate because some families are up there and they don't have money for this or money for that. They don't have places to stay. Every donation helps," Tonya said.

National Pancake Day at IHOP ends at 10 p.m. The restaurant will still collect money for the Children's Miracle Network for the next two months.



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