ST. LOUIS – A celebration of life is planned this weekend for a St. Louis man who was widely known for his social media presence and party bus business. Mike Arnold, owner of Gus Gus Fun Bus party bus, died in June after being struck by a truck during a carjacking in downtown St. Louis.
Through his own business and social media accounts, Arnold was known for promoting St. Louis businesses and events. In the wake of his death, the people he touched and connected with across the city have come together to celebrate their friend and support Arnold's family.
This Sunday would have been Arnold's 55th birthday. In his honor, a celebration of Arnold's life is being held at a business he supported.
"He was very kind to Das Bevo when we reopened," said Bridgette Fyvie, who handles sales, marketing, and event planning at Das Bevo. "He often did spots on his social media saying great things about our restaurant and our reopening."
Troika Brodsky with the St. Louis Brewer's Guild works with local brewers and breweries to promote St. Louis as a premier beer tourism destination. He said Arnold was one of his greatest partners in getting that message out.
“He would help promote the local beer scene, local food, local music. He just loved to get out and celebrate our city’s culture,” Troika said.
Elle Brodsky, founder of Yoga Buzz, a non-profit organization that aims to make yoga accessible to everyone, said Arnold used Instagram to connect her organization with Eckert's Farm. It was that introduction that led to future yoga events at the farm.
"Mike's connection already helped us raise $10,000 for our organization over the last few years," she said.
Money raised during pop-up yoga events goes to fund outreach and education efforts.
Troika said the sudden loss of his friend was profound for the community, but the community Arnold worked so hard to support and promote came together in force.
"It seemed apparent pretty quickly that the appropriate thing to do was to celebrate and was to stay positive about our city," said Troika.
Countless fundraisers were held, discounts were offered, and t-shirts were sold to celebrate Arnold and support his family. A GoFundMe page is still active to support the Arnold family.
The celebration for Arnold continues Sunday with "Mike Arnold Day." The mayor has signed a proclamation naming November 11, Arnold's birthday, in his honor.
The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
"That is exactly what Mike would've wanted," said Elle. "He would've wanted people out celebrating their city, connecting and being with one another."
Arnold’s family is eager to meet with the people who connected with and supported Mike.
Federal charges were filed against the two people in connection with the carjacking death of Mike Arnold. The defendants, Curtis Alford and Jana Stowers, pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail.