Service Groups

St. Louis is home to many traditional service groups and fraternal organizations, which provide benefit to the community at large. Several of the organizations are based out of St. Louis and some are located elsewhere in Gratiot County and welcome residents from the St. Louis Area. Scroll down for additional information.

Alma/St. Louis Elks Club

Alma Area Business and Professional Women (BPW)

Alma/St. Louis Lions Club

Alma/St. Louis Rotary

Czechoslovak Society of America (CSA)

Dog Tales, Inc.

Gratiot County Exchange Club

Optimist Club of Gratiot County

St. Louis American Legion

St. Louis MOOSE Lodge

St. Louis VFW Post #3055

Toys for Tots

BPW

The Alma Area Business and Professional Women organization is very active locally, and includes members from St. Louis.

bpwgroup

CSA Hall

The Czechoslovak Society of America (CSA) has had a presence in St. Louis for many years. The local organization, founded in 1929, has a historic hall as its home base at 1404 Michigan Avenue, a mile south of the downtown area, which was built in 1940.

Members are able to visit the CSA Hall on a regular basis as the downstairs Club Room is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (or later on Friday).

The Club Room opens both Saturday and Sunday but times may vary depending what activities might be happening.

Members may bring guests with them, however members must sign in their guests. The CSA Hall is available for rental for wedding receptions, private parties, family gatherings, etc. In the Latino community, the CSA Hall is utilized for Quinceaneras. Quinceaneras ("fifteen years") in Latin American culture, is a coming of age ceremony held on a girl's fifteenth birthday, comparable to a Sweet Sixteen celebration.

Theresa Butcher is the Manager and can be reached by phone at the CSA Hall, at 989-681-3339.

Dog Tales, Inc.

Dog Tales, Inc. (a 501c3 charitable organization)

The Mission of Dog Tales is to improve the literacy skills of the children in our community through the use of registered therapy dogs as literacy mentors. Betty Lewis our coordinator and founder, founded the first program of its kind in Michigan nine years ago. However, the program was proven effective by the Intermountain Therapy Animal in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has since spread to many other states. Their program is called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ).

Specialists have found that children who read at a level below their peers are often intimidated by reading aloud in a classroom setting. This lowered self-esteem causes reading to be a chore. Children
find that reading to an animal is less intimidating, a special time for them that is helpful and fun at the same time.

Fun: Children are not labeled as we take applicants who just love to read and want to have fun reading with the dogs, as well as those who are struggling with reading skills and self-confidence. After all, it’s fun to go to the library; its fun to read for pleasure; and it’s especially great to share this fun with a furry friend (a dog).

The Program runs for 4 consecutive weeks with the child reading for 20 minutes at each session. Each child participating and completing the 4-week program receives a “pawtographed” book for their reading level. We are an all volunteer group, thus purchase of the books is from donations or fund raisers.

Special Training: Alma Redbird in St. Louis, owned by Heidi and Greg Garberson have allowed us to use their K-9 Training facility to train our dogs and for meetings or gatherings. Each dog must train and pass a test to be certified for therapy work. The AKC Canine Good Citizenship test is part of this testing. In addition to those requirements are items selected to assure that only those dogs with the proper temperament are selected for certification and thus for use in our program.

Dog Tales Teams

Handler (Dog)

  • Nancy Ball (Emma)
  • Vickie & Bruce Borkovich (Blue)
  • Judy & Sam Brankel (Solo)
  • Michelle Christianson (Randall & Prace)
  • Clara J Del Valle (Gizelle, Lilibeth)
  • John Gerhard (Chocolate Chip)
  • Cheryl Heisler (Mickey & Gizmo)
  • Coleen Howell (Pupper & Sasha)
  • Vickie & Bruce Borkovich (Blue)
  • JoAnn Jones (Trouble)
  • Betty & Larry Lewis (Mandy, Windi)
  • Bethany Lyon (Kitty)
  • Nancy Malinowski (Stone)
  • Bonnie Mercure (Baxter)
  • Marilyn Morey (Buddy)
  • Nancy O’Brien (Daisy)
  • Susan Rassmussen (Zoe)
  • Corey Sayen (Rainy)
  • Vicki Winchester (Covey)
  • Gwen Zimmer (Ruthie)
  • Caleb (Phoenix)
Kids with Dog
Dog Tales Pic
Dog with Girl

Upcoming Programs

  • Final Exam Stress Relief, CMU Dec. 1-8
  • First Methodist Church, Mt. Pleasant Dec. 15
  • Program itself begins Jan. 11, 2010
  • Carrie Knause Elementary Svhool 2nd graders March
  • South Elementary Shool Ithaca March
  • Pierre Marquette Library, Clare, April

Lions Club

Projects past and present:

Provide eyeglasses and coordinate exams for the needy.
Collect used eyeglasses at various locations in St. Louis and Alma for redistribution.
Participate in adopt a highway on North 127
Provide toys for tots at our annual Christmas gift exchange.
Sell big coloring books.
Sell highland festival wristbands.
Blues festival food wagon / steak fry 4th of July in St. Louis
White cane sales
Grocery give-a-way.
Purchase lions magazine annual subscription for both St. Louis and Alma libraries.

Donations:

Leader Dog for the Blind
Bear Lake Camp
Michigan Lions All State band
Braille transcribing
Diabetes foundations
Lions Club International Foundation
Requests for assistance from Gratiot County residents and organizations.

Optimist Club

The Optimist Club of Gratiot County is the Friend of Youth. Members strive to develop Optimism as a philosophy of life and to inspire that philosophy in local youth through numerous programs and service projects. To become a member of the "Optimist Family" be a guest at one of our meetings on the first and third Thursday of each month from 12-1:00 p.m. at Masonic Pathways in the Doig Conference Center. Contact Tina Travis, Vice President of Membership at gccf@gratiotfoundation.org for more information.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself-

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet at smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself, that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Saint Louis VFW

St. Louis VFW Post #3055

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post has been a strong supporter of the St. Louis community for many years. In additions to donating money for community and to local Police and Fire Departments, they sponsor several events themselves including Memorial Day and Veterans Day events, the Easter Egg hunt and more.

The VFW Hall, located right on M-46 west of St. Louis at 1295 West Monroe Road, is also available to rent for events such as wedding receptions or family reunions by calling Quartermaster Rusty Gallahan at (989) 842-5810.

For more information on how to join the organization, contact current Commander Ed Davidson at (989) 681-5862.

To learn more about the VFW as a nationwide organization, CLICK HERE.

People and Flags

Veterans Day Ceremony

Toys for Tots

Every year the Gratiot County Toys for Tots program works very hard to provide gifts for area children.

Toys for Tots has been a key part of the St. Louis Christmas celebration for many years. To make a donation, please contact John Hall at Treasures in Alma.

Christmas Celebrating with Santa