Steak 'n Shake & Graham Rahal Foundation Help Fight SMA

Steak 'n Shake & Graham Rahal Foundation Help Fight SMA

NDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- To put a cherry on top of a great IndyCar Series season, Steak 'n Shake, primary sponsor of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) No. 15 Indy car, today announced a donation of $8,500 to the Graham Rahal Foundation to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

"Thank you to everyone in Ohio who supported FightSMA and Nationwide Children's Hospital by purchasing a Graham Rahal Milkshake in August," said Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 Indy car. "It feels good to help FightSMA and Nationwide Children's Hospital with funding to help find a cure and also raise awareness. As a race car driver, I can't think of a better way to have kicked off this promotion than we did with a win for the Steak 'n Shake team at my home track - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The continued support and excitement through the whole month of August meant a lot to me."

During the month of August in Rahal's home state of Ohio, Steak 'n Shake pledged to donate $1 for every Graham Rahal milkshake sold to the Graham Rahal Foundation to support FightSMA. The all-volunteer nonprofit organization is dedicated to finding a treatment for SMA. The donation 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.

"Many thanks to Steak 'n Shake and to Graham Rahal and his team, not only for their financial support, but also for creating new and exciting levels of awareness for the FightSMA message," said FightSMA Co-founder Martha Slay. "This was a great encouragement for children and families across North America," added FightSMA Co-founder and Treasurer Joe Slay.

Rahal created his limited-time only, custom milkshake, The Graham Rahal milkshake, during the season. The hand-dipped specialty milkshake combined the Steak 'n Shake classic chocolate milkshake with one of America's favorite candies - Milk Chocolate M&M's. The milkshake was sold in the sixty-plus restaurants in the state of Ohio.

"Nationwide Children's Hospital is once again extremely grateful to the Graham Rahal Foundation and Steak 'n Shake for not only helping to find a treatment for SMA, but engaging the state of Ohio in this effort and bringing vital awareness to SMA research," said Brian K. Kaspar, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Gene Therapy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's. "With the opportunity to partner with FightSMA as well, this was a great opportunity to continue to 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 was the primary sponsor at eight Verizon IndyCar Series events, including races at Long Beach, Detroit, Mid-Ohio, Indianapolis, Pocono Raceway and Sonoma Raceway. Steak 'n Shake and Maxim, both owned by Biglari Holdings Inc., were associate sponsors all season.

"Who can say no to the Graham Rahal Milkshake with chocolate and M&M's especially when it's supporting such remarkable organizations as FightSMA and Nationwide Children's Hospital," said Jim Flaniken, senior vice president of marketing of Steak 'n Shake. "From the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio win to many memorable podiums, it's been Graham's best season finish yet, and we couldn't be more proud to be a part of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team."

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.

About FightSMA

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