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Time passages

Greater Green Bay YMCA President/CEO Sean Elliott talks about the items included in the time capsule. Kris Leonhardt photo

By Kris Leonhardt


GREEN BAY – On May 24, the Greater Green Bay YMCA placed a new time capsule above the front door archway of the Ferguson Family YMCA building at 235 N. Jefferson St., Green Bay.

The time capsule replaces the one that was opened in 2021 to celebrate the YMCA’s 150th anniversary.

“(In 2021), we took the time capsule out and saw some really cool stuff, including an American flag with 48 stars on it,” recalled Greater Green Bay YMCA President/CEO Sean Elliott. “It had newspaper clippings of the day in 1923, where the community raised $425,000. This is 1923, right? $425,000 for this YMCA right behind us that has been serving the community; and the special part — at least to me — is that the community raised all those dollars in 13 days and the largest capital gift was $25,000. So, there’s literally a ledger inside the downtown YMCA with thousands and thousands of capital receipts for $10, $15, $25.

“So, the point of all that is the community built this YMCA. It’s a privilege to continue to serve this great community at our downtown YMCA.”

Greater Green Bay YMCA’s Former Board Chair Chris Stiles said that he was excited to be a part of the installation of the time capsule, considering his family’s long history with the YMCA.

Greater Green Bay YMCA’s Former Board Chair Chris Stiles and YMCA President/CEO Sean Elliott, with assistance from IEI, place a new capsule above the Ferguson Family YMCA building archway. Kris Leonhardt photo

“It’s a pretty exciting time for the Green Bay YMCA again. In 2021, we celebrated our 150th year of serving the community. When I was asked to give some opening comments, I started thinking about this building in particular this archway — my great-grandfather walked through this door, my grandfather walked through this door, my father walked through this door (and) I still walked through this door and so do my kids. So, five generations that have passed through this archway underneath this time capsule; and when we opened it up, we saw some really fantastic things,” he explained.

“And we put some really neat things in this for the next five generations to open down the road. So, I’m excited.”

The new time capsule included current news articles, membership brochures and impact reports, as well as a 150th-anniversary t-shirt and donations from area businesses.

Elliott and Stiles were assisted by IEI in accessing the ledge above the archway for the installation.

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