It was the planning team’s dream to find a fun, chic location in Downtown Des Moines to host the The Well’s inaugural gathering. We indeed had a really great lead on a super fun and chic location, but then learned its current renovations wouldn’t be completed by July. So we settled on our second location, only to learn that facility is also undergoing renovations next summer. So we scrambled a bit in hopes of finding a location to accommodate a large group of women AND be available on a Saturday in the summer, prime wedding season, on somewhat short notice.
I finally found an event venue that wasn’t already booked and looked really promising: Forte Banquet and Conference Center. When I first toured Forte on a Monday morning, the facilities’ manager was a bit apologetic as the place was still a bit unorganized from the previous weekend’s activities. You see, a pro-wrestling event had just taken place there. Pro-wrestling as in Hulk Hogan, Rick Flair, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Macho Man Randy Savage?! When I heard our gathering could be located in the same space as a pro-wrestling event, I knew we had found our match. Third time’s a charm!
In all seriousness, here are a few reasons we are entrusting Forte to host our event.
- Forte provides free on-site parking. There’s no way we are making you sweet ladies park and walk a mile in July, thereby working up a sweat. This is your day off.
- Easy access off the interstate, and it’s just one block south of Wells Fargo Arena.
- Forte’s downtown location makes it feasible for women to book a hotel room and make it a true girls weekend. May we suggest visiting the Downtown Farmers’ Market for a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee from Java Joe’s prior to heading over to The Well?
- Baratta’s, the dedicated caterer for Forte, will work with us to provide two great meals (plus snacks and desserts!) during the gathering.
- The location provides enough space to house a makeshift prayer chapel for the day. Let’s “waste time” with Jesus, shall we?
- Sticking with that theme, Forte is two blocks from St. Ambrose Cathedral where we will attend Mass on Saturday evening.
- Finally, a ready-made dance floor is waiting for us. Need I say more? Let’s get this party started!
Author: Lisa Schmidt
Lisa Schmidt is wife to Deacon Joel, mom to four, proud Iowan, and a lifelong Catholic with a heart for improving the quality of life for families. She earned a Bachelor of Family Services and Master of Public Administration from Iowa State University, and worked as an assistant city manager in the Des Moines metro area before “retiring” to come home and care for her children. Lisa has since steadily immersed herself in the work of the new evangelization through writing, speaking, and most recently founding The Well women’s ministry. She enjoys watching sports, singing praise and worship music, and gathering with family and friends for coffee and conversation. The Schmidts’ church home is St. Pius X in Urbandale, Iowa.