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Kings' Dustin Penner turns pancake-related injury into charitable event

LOS ANGEGLES, Calif. - Kings forward Dustin Penner is turning a painful pancake experience into a win for local Los Angeles charities.

Penner and the Kings Care Foundation announced on Friday that he would host "Pancakes with Penner," a fundraiser for the L.A.-based children's charity run by the hockey team.

Penner infamously suffered back spasms as he sat down to a pancake breakfast prepared by his wife in early January. The left-winger missed Los Angeles' 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 7 as he recovered from the injury.

"Pancakes with Penner" will have 75 fans and their guests join Penner for a buffet breakfast at an IHOP pancake restaurant in Los Angeles.

"We are happy to support Dustin Penner and the Kings Care Foundation with 'Pancakes for Penner,'" said Natalia Franco, IHOP's senior vice president, in a statement. "The Kings are incredibly involved in the community and their efforts help a lot of meaningful organizations in the Los Angeles area.

"All of us at IHOP are also devoted to giving back to the communities in which we operate."

Fans can purchase raffle tickets online for the chance to attend the event (http://lakings.com/pancakes). Money raised will go to the Kings Care Foundation.

The charity has provided US$3.5 million in support for the L.A. community, including a $250,000 donation to develop a state-of-the-art Los Angeles Children's Museum and a pledge of $250,000 to the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization that funds research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Penner wrote a tongue-in-cheek open letter to address the pancake incident on Jan. 11 that was posted to a Kings' fan blog.

"First and foremost, I think we can agree that having delicious pancakes that your wife made for breakfast, for a 1pm game, is not out of the norm," wrote Penner. "Secondly, 'SOBS' (Sudden Onset Back Spasms) can occur at any moment, doing just about anything you can think of, and is a very serious issue.

"Those who have experienced 'SOBS,' know it is no laughing matter. I'm a little hurt, to tell you the truth, that the plight of my people isn't being taken seriously."

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