TWO RIVERS, Wis. (NBC 26) — Former Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt remembers seeing his dad on the big stage, performing for crowds of thousands and traveling the country.
His father was a member of a family barbershop quartet from Two Rivers.
"He was a good dad and they all were great to their families," he said.
In their prime in the 1950s, the champion Schmitt Brothers quartet spent 35 years together.
"Everywhere they went, they always talked about Two Rivers," Jim Schmitt said.
So with the help of over 100 family members, on Monday, the quartet's family donated more than $122,000 towards the City of Two Rivers to help build a new stage in Central Park downtown.
"Let's do this," Jim Schmitt said. "Let's honor the quartet. Let's honor the family in one of the greatest cities; and that's Two Rivers, Wisconsin."
It'll be called the Schmitt Brothers Stage. It's part of a $1.6 million project to upgrade the city's most popular public space.
"What better way to celebrate the heritage and the history of the Schmitt Brothers than with a very live and lively memorial," City Manager Greg Buckley said.
The stage will include history plaques and extra room for seating and dancing.
"We'll have a high-quality sound system and will just take all of our community celebrations in that space to the next level," Buckley said.
The official dedication of the Schmitt Brothers Stage is scheduled for July 15.
"We're just delighted with it," Jim Schmitt said. "I think it's really going to speak for Two Rivers. I think it's going to bring people together."
The Schmitt Brothers quartet appeared on the Ed Sullivan, Arthur Godfrey and Lawrence Welk shows. Collectively, they raised 35 children and even performed at stages like Carnegie Hall.