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Panda Palooza Charity Event Will Make This Wedding One to Remember

Panda Palooza at The Canopy

May 10, 2018

Through my career, I have had the opportunity to hear stories of heartbreak and happiness. Seldom are they told in that order. Jennifer Rhoads and Clark Smith know what it’s like to live through the loss of a spouse — and to have the fortune to find love again. What makes their story even more special is how they have decided to celebrate it.

One great day, two great celebrations

Rhoads and her daughter participated in the Amanda the Panda camp and support group following the passing of her late husband, and Smith’s late wife spent her final days in the care of HCI Hospice Care Services. Both programs are offered by HCI Care Services and Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, a nonprofit organization. The couple and their children all have a passion for giving, a desire to support local businesses and a shared understanding of the grief journey.

Rhoads and SmithAs they planned their blended life together, Rhoads and Smith knew they wanted to give back to the programs that had helped them during difficult times. To do so, Rhoads and Smith have decided to host a fundraising event on their May 19 wedding day at their wedding reception venue, The Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). In lieu of gifts, the couple has asked wedding guests to give a gift to Amanda the Panda. And, with The Canopy already serving as the venue for their wedding reception, the couple arranged to add even more meaning to an important day by hosting an evening charity event — Panda Palooza.

Benefitting the grief support services provided by Amanda the Panda that helped the couple and their children with the loss of their loved ones, Panda Palooza will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, and will feature two live bands — The Candymakers and Faculty Lounge — snacks from Christiani’s, local beers from Confluence and Firetrucker and a cash bar. Local DSM businesses have also joined in support of the event, including Spindustry Digital, give., Allspice, O’Donnell & Friends Open and Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling.

A perfect opportunity to experience The Canopy

Panda Palooza is just one of many events to be held at Brenton Skating Plaza every year. Once The Canopy is installed in May, The Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza is available to rent and makes for the perfect place to host weddings and receptions, corporate events, concerts, reunions and more. Located along the Des Moines River and offering sweeping views of the Downtown DSM skyline, it is a venue that is only done justice when seen firsthand. With tickets priced at just $20, Panda Palooza is the ideal opportunity to experience all The Canopy has to offer while supporting a great cause.

Looking for a unique venue at which to host your wedding or event? The Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza is the perfect location. Located in the heart of Downtown DSM, the 160-foot-tall facility offers a luxurious view of both the Downtown skyline and the riverfront. Book your event today at brentonplaza.com!