John Heffron, center, hosted a Comedy Pop-Up show at The Collins at the Clocktower in Chelsea MI where donations for St. Louis Center residents were accepted, thank you John! Jacqui, left, and Kyle, right, enjoyed the sold-out show immensely.

“Flourishing goes beyond happiness, or satisfaction with life. True, people who flourish are happy. But that’s not the half of it. Beyond feeling good, they’re also doing good-adding value to the world.”  -Barbara Fredrickson

A beautiful tapestry of support has woven itself around St. Louis Center by the local communities who embrace our residents in a nurtured spirit of unity. Our community begins in our hometown of Chelsea, Michigan but is not confined by geography. It’s a shared space where everyone contributes to the collective heartbeat as architects of growth, weaving a story of compassion, resilience, and shared humanity.

Chelsea Michigan, a community flourishing with kindness: From the customers at Polly’s, the Chelsea High School football team, Rose Lawrence of In-Chelsea Hair Design, and Meals on Wheels clients to everyone who attends functions like Sounds and Sights and the annual Chelsea Fair Parade, St. Louis Center is surrounded by people who care. 


Hometown Memories
Several men loading a box truck with cases of beverages.

One local business, Ugly Dog Distillery, has made community welfare its primary mission. In the spirit of continuing generosity, Rob Mida, Manager of Ugly Dog Distillery, is dedicated to uplifting those in his community and enhancing the very fabric that has nurtured him.

Born and raised in Chelsea, MI, Rob fondly reflects on his high school days, cherishing memories of football and enduring friendships. Among these friends were classmates from the St. Louis Center, and the bonds forged during those school and sports days remain steadfast to this day. It’s this unique connection that holds St. Louis Center in a special place in Rob’s heart.

The commitment to the betterment of the Chelsea community is evident in every facet of Ugly Dog Distillery’s operations. Rob is at the helm of this dedication, an active participant in numerous community organizations, including the Downtown Development Authority, Rotary, Chelsea Chamber, and others. Ugly Dog Distillery has become synonymous with charitable contributions, extending a helping hand to various causes and organizations in need of support.

Lee Chambers, a resident of the St. Louis Center, also has worked at the Ugly Dog Distillery. Rob enjoys having the residents learn different aspects of the business. Of their time spent together Rob noted,

It is fun to keep Lee motivated and working hard. In return, I get to listen to his many stories of being the Hydration Manager for the Chelsea Football Team.

An ugly dog Distillery label on a gallon jug of sanitizer.Ugly Dog Distillery stepped in when needed to help safeguard the well-being of the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognized their ability to help alleviate the pressing need for hygiene essentials and quickly pivoted their production to create and distribute hand sanitizer to many community members urgently in need.

Ugly Dog’s swift and proactive response during those challenging times showcased not only their adaptability but also their unwavering commitment to the safety and welfare of Chelsea residents, a shining example of a business that not only thrives on success but also places community well-being at the forefront of its mission.

Heartfelt initiativeRob Mida and his dog at Ugly Dog Distillery

For the past four years, Ugly Dog Distillery has been the driving force behind a heartfelt initiative—an annual donation drive for Christmas presents for the residents of the St. Louis Center. This seasonal event for St. Louis Center is a cause deeply embedded in the hearts of Ugly Dog Distillery employees and patrons, a testament to their commitment to the well-being of the Chelsea community.

St. Louis Center is very grateful to Rob Mida and Ugly Dog Distillery for being shining examples of the many individuals, businesses, and organizations that make ours a Caring Community that Flourishes!

St. Louis Center invites you to join Ugly Dog Distillery in its annual donation drive for the residents if you wish to add to the gifts under the giving tree before Christmas. The wish list includes craft supplies and personal hygiene items for both men and women. Visit Ugly Dog Distillery in person through Dec. 23, or you can make an online donation directly to St. Louis Center to support this heartfelt cause when you submit the form below. Your contribution, whether big or small, ensures that the spirit of giving continues to flourish in our community.

Because of YOU, we met and exceeded $200,000 MATCHED funds!

St. Louis Center received two $100,000 matched gifts. Not only was the match met – we EXCEEDED it, with a final total of $218,894!


Your generosity can truly make a difference. The match may be over, but your donations throughout the year are important and appreciated!