INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of an exciting IndyCar Series win for Graham Rahal in the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 2, Steak ‘n Shake announced today it will join the Graham Rahal Foundation effort to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). August is SMA Awareness Month.
Steak 'n Shake, a primary sponsor of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's No. 15 IndyCar Series entry for Graham Rahal, will donate $1 from each Graham Rahal Milkshake sold in the state of Ohio through August 31 to The Graham Rahal Foundation. The money raised will then be used to benefit FightSMA, a non-profit spinal muscular atrophy organization raising public awareness and funds for research.
"For me it's so cool to have Steak 'n Shake sponsoring us in general and specifically at my home race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course which means even more," said Graham Rahal, who was born in Columbus, Ohio. "Growing up and going to races there always included multiple stops at Steak 'n Shake down the road from the race track in Mansfield. I did that so many times that I can't even count so to not only have my own shake but to have Steak 'n Shake donate part of the proceeds from those shakes purchased in Ohio in August to such a great cause is incredible. It feels good to help raise funds to find a cure for spinal muscular atrophy and be involved with Nationwide Children's Hospital, a place my parents were actively involved with when I was growing up."
Rahal created his custom milkshake, The Graham Rahal Milkshake, earlier this season. The hand-dipped specialty milkshake combines the Steak 'n Shake classic chocolate Milkshake with one of America's favorite candy - Milk Chocolate M&M's. It will be available for a limited time for $3.69 in 65 Steak 'n Shake restaurants in the state of Ohio.
"Graham's milkshake has been a huge hit, so we jumped at the opportunity to donate a portion of the proceeds to help fight SMA," said Jim Flaniken, senior vice president of marketing of Steak 'n Shake. "Steak 'n Shake's participation in the FightSMA fundraising campaign in Graham's home state of Ohio is extremely rewarding and a great way to finish the season."
The proceeds will also aid in SMA research efforts being conducted by Nationwide Children's Hospital, one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States.
"Nationwide Children's Hospital is extremely grateful to the Graham Rahal Foundation and Steak 'n Shake for their generosity and effort in helping to find a treatment for SMA," said Brian K. Kaspar, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Gene Therapy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's. "This collaboration provides another great opportunity to partner with FightSMA to help raise awareness and advance research and hope for this devastating disease."
Steak 'n Shake debuted this year as the primary sponsor of the No. 15 IndyCar, driven by Graham Rahal and co-owned by Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. The restaurant chain is a primary sponsor at six Verizon IndyCar Series events, including races at Long Beach, Detroit, Mid-Ohio and Indianapolis.
For additional information, visit www.grahamrahal.com/foundation.
About Steak 'n Shake Inc.
Steak 'n Shake, a classic American brand, serves premium burgers and shakes in more than 500 restaurants across the country and the world. Founded in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Steak 'n Shake is the leader in the "better burger" segment of the restaurant industry, serving hand-crafted, premium Steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. Steak 'n Shake is the recipient of the Nation's Restaurant News Golden Chain Award. Zagat has recognized Steak 'n Shake as having the #1 Milkshake. Steak 'n Shake Inc., based out of Indianapolis, Indiana, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Biglari Holdings Inc.
About Graham Rahal Foundation
The Graham Rahal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization founded by Graham Rahal. The Foundation is dedicated to helping children with medical conditions, a cause that was important to Rahal's former race team owner and friend, the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. Through various fundraising events and activities, the Graham Rahal Foundation helps Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, SeriousFun Children's Network and others.
FightSMA is a 24-year-old, all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant death. The group has awarded research grants at more than 40 universities and research institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.
FightSMA was an early funder of the hunt for the SMA gene and the largest funder of the first SMA clinical trial. FightSMA has funded high-throughput screening for SMN gene upregulation, SMA mouse model research, SMA gene therapy research, and other SMA projects. FightSMA's annual international research meeting has been held for 20 years. FightSMA played a leadership role in the successful passage of the National Pediatric Research Network Act in 2013.
About Nationwide Children's Hospital
Ranked 9th of only 12 children's hospitals on U.S. News & World Report's 2015-16 "America's Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll," Nationwide Children's Hospital is one of the nation's largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare networks providing care for infants, children and adolescents as well as adult patients with congenital disease. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children's faculty train the next generation of pediatricians, scientists and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities in the U.S., supporting basic, clinical, translational and health services research at Nationwide Children's. The Research Institute encompasses three research facilities totaling 525,000 square feet dedicated to research. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org/Research.
SOURCE Steak 'n Shake