Why I Give: Craig Huse
Craig Huse knows a thing or two about iconic and historic Indianapolis landmarks.
As co-owner of St. Elmo Steak House (as well as its sister restaurant Harry & Izzy’s) Huse has the task of maintaining the excellence customers expect from Indianapolis’ best-known restaurant, built in 1902. So when it came to choosing a primary charity to support he found himself drawn to another iconic Indiana landmark: Riley Hospital for Children. “Riley has such a clear mission,” says Huse. “It’s the ultimate cause: helping sick children and finding cures. Who wouldn’t want to put their charitable dollars behind excellence?”
His relationship with Riley took root several years ago when Huse his wife Jill befriended their neighbor, Riley Pediatric Oncologist Rob Fallon, M.D. The Huses, parents of healthy twins, were drawn quickly into the Riley Hospital mission. “You walk into the hospital and you see all these families walking in,” says Huse. “If you try to put yourself in their shoes, you feel the compelling pull to help out.”
Huse’s support for Riley is both personal and professional. His service on the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors gave him the confidence to make an unrestricted estate plan gift to Riley, allowing his funds to be applied toward the hospital’s greatest urgent needs. “I know that the physicians and hospital leadership know best where the investment needs to go,” Huse says.
Supporting Riley is also a heartwarming point of pride for Huse’s hospitality-focused employees. To date they have raised upwards of $300,000 through golf outings for Riley, and they enjoy serving meals to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House inside Riley Hospital. “With everything these families are going through, it’s great if we can brighten their day with a little perk like St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail and filet sliders,” says Huse. “Simple gifts can provide emotional balance to families facing challenges.”
It’s a partnership between two iconic Indiana institutions that’s about more than smart business and brand building. As Huse notes, “It’s about stewardship and bridging your philanthropic interests and abilities with those in need.”