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Chamber NewsBreak - September 2012

   Taste of Portage: food, music, fun!!!!    
Another chapter of a Taste of Portage weekend has been written and fun was had at every page. A recurring theme of hot and dry weather during the summer broke just enough to allow for a bit of a plot twist--the fireworks show, originally scheduled for the Independence Celebration, lit up the skies over Portage on the last evening of this event, closing the book on an event that would make any best-seller list. 


Main Street Wisdom, Late 4 Dinner, The Midwesterners,

car showand 76 Juliet kept things rocking throughout the event by providing great live musical entertainment. 


More than 50 craft vendors filled a bustling Cook St. and showed off their crafts. The car show created a friendly traffic jam with over 100 classic autos from all over Wisconsin on DeWitt St. Ten food vendors took care of visitors' appetites by serving up samples of their delicious cuisine. Kids activities, including The Green and Gold Experience, the kids' pedal pull, Lochlan the Magician, and the Open Arms Daycare Kids' CreationStation, a bungee trampoline and paintball alley

put smiles on kids all day Saturday.

Emmy Fink and the Discover Wisconsin film crew arrived just in time for Emmy to take part in the kid's pedal pull. Find out in the spring hoEmmy fared in the competition when the Discover Wisconsin- Portage edition airs. 


And the Dairyland Walkers had 60 walkers join in on their first Portage Volksmarch which left the Riverside Park shelter for a 5k or 11k walk around Portage. The success of this walk ensures others to follow in the future. 


Thank you to all our sponsors and volunteers for helping us put on a great weekend in Portage!!!!


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   Welcome New Chamber Members   
River Haven Homeless Shelter
108 E. Pleasant St., PO Box 641
Portage, WI 53901
Candy Roeker at 608-742-7687
Providing shelter and assistance to homeless persons in Portage. 
   Business Profile: Goodwill Industries  
goodwill logo

Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin sells gently used clothing, footwear, and electronics, furniture, and other household items at incredibly low prices. These items are for sale at Goodwill stores, including the one located at 2902 American Legion Drive. They are also available online through its auction site,, and online bookstore, Good_Again. 


The revenue generated through the sale of donated items is used to provide employment, housing, and support to individuals with disabilities and other challenges. Established in 1962, Goodwill, among other things, partners with county agencies such as the Columbia County Aging and Disability Resource Center, organizations, medical facilities, etc., to provide eligible individuals in need with vouchers for free clothing and household items from one of its stores. It also provides vouchers to victims of natural disasters and other emergencies.


Goodwill's practice of selling donated items is also good for the environment. Each year the not-for-profit organization keeps tens of millions of pounds of items out of area landfills. In addition, textiles that are not sold to the public are used to make products such as carpet pads or are sold to third world countries where there is a great need for clothing. Donated computer equipment that is not sold to the public is sold to a recycler who, among other things, will not export waste.


Residents can donate their unwanted items at any Goodwill donation center, including the one located at 2902 American Legion Drive. Goodwill accepts donations of computer equipment and other items year round and during special events such as the computer collection drive scheduled for September 9 from noon to 3pm. Financial donations may be made at any Goodwill donation center or store, checks made payable to Goodwill Industries can be mailed to 1302 Mendota St., Madison, WI 53714, and donations may be made online at


Goodwill is committed to using its resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. More than 86 cents of every dollar it spends is used to provide services to individuals with disabilities and other challenges.

   Sign up for Business Breakfast      
Join the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce on September 18 for our Business Breakfast to network and make those important connections with Chamber members that can help you in your business or career. This month's topic, presented by Karrie Landsverk, Director of Education with AmericanWay University, is "Meshing the Generational Gaps-Building a Bridge Between Baby Boomers and Millennials."   This presentation will offer key insight on the four main generations as to how their life experiences have shaped them and how those experiences influence their everyday interactions. The presentation will focus on two critical generations being the Baby Boomers and Millennials, as these generations tend to conflict more than others in values and struggle in maintaining positive working relationships. You will leave this presentation with a better appreciation for each generation's life experiences, and helpful techniques to engage our youngest generation in the workforce. Whether you have a team of employees or work your own business, this presentation will share valuable insight to help you better connect in all your relationships.
AmericanWay University is located in Portage and offers education courses and custom training to equip you and your teams to be their very best.

About our speaker: Karrie Landsverk is a dynamic speaker  and trainer who captures her audiences through humor and sharing real-life experiences as she educates and informs. Karrie has over 14 years of business expertise with a great amount of experience in leadership, human resources, communication barriers and team development. Karrie's passion is in education and people development. She loves to share her knowledge and experiences with others through fun and reflective messages that equip learners to reach their greatest potential. Karrie joined the team at AmericanWay University in November 2011.  

Where:  TBD 
Time:  Breakfast at 7:30am-9am, Speaker at 8am 
Cost: $10,  cash or check please 
For more information, call 608-742-6242 or register online on the event page.
   Portage Chamber Announces Citywide Mural Project  
A project to add new vibrancy to the side of some buildings in Portage is officially underway thanks to a grant from the City of Portage Tourism committee. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is lining up murals representing longtime local industries, classic advertising and more to be immortalized in painted tributes. 
Portage Lumber has graciously offered to donate the paint for the first mural, a yet-to-be-determined work tentatively scheduled for completion around mid-September by local artist Chris Dreyer. The Portage Chamber is seeking building owners interested in offering their buildings as potential sites for murals, which are intended to be informative and invite conversation. The long range plan for the project is to create a mural tour around Portage, one more way to encourage tourism and provide another attraction.
If you are interested in donating to the mural project or have a suggestion for a subject, please call Brad at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, 608-742-6242.

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    Enjoy last of the summer Portage Flea Markets   
flea marketThe next Portage City Flea Market will be held Saturday, September 1.
The flea markets are held the first Saturdays of the month, June through September and are located next to and inside the Bidwell Building at the Veterans Memorial Field at 300 Superior St. The market features crafts, produce, antiques, collectibles, and rummage sale Items. The event is held rain or shine!  Citywide Rummage Sales will take place each of these Saturdays to coincide with the flea markets.


The Flea Market hours are from 7am to 3pm. For contact information, call the Portage Parks and Recreation Department at 608-742-2178.

   Open House at Edward Jones Investments   
edward jones logo

Klay Vehring of Edward Jones Investments, located at 214 W. Cook St., will be hosting an Open House on Friday, September 28, 2012 from Noon to 5pm.  Refreshments and some food will be served.


Call 608-742-8841 for more information. 

   Elks Lodge serving lunch during Farmer's Markets

The Portage Elks Lodge will be seving lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm on Thursdays in summer at the Elks Lodge  porch located to the north of Commerce Plaza across from the Farmers Market. Brats, burgers, chips, soda and water are a great offering and are the perfect compliment to those shopping the market.  

   News from Portage Center for the Arts
portage center for the artsPhotos in the Foyer
Portage Center for the Arts is pleased to expand its' popular monthly exhibit of local talent by adding poetry to our themed contest. Entries are due on the 1st of each month. Voting is still $1.00 per vote; with voting for photos and poetry separately; a winner in each category, each month. Themes this year are: September - "My Favorite Garden"; October - "Go Packers!"; November - "Fall Colors"; December - "Comfort Food"; January - "Little Rascals"; February - "These are a few of my favorite things"; March - "Real Life Super Heroes"; April - "Stormy Weather"; May is the Winners' Showcase.

Bullying..... body image... divorce.... This season, two thought provoking productions by our Zona Gale Young People's Theatre address issues vital to the youth of today and to our community. These are two plays you and your family won't want to miss:

"Doors" by Susan Zeder, directed by Dr. Xan Johnson. September 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15, 16
Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm here at PCA in our Zona Gale Theatre. Adults / $10 & Students / $6. This emotional, yet humorous work touches the life of most every child today. This nationally award-winning script has been widely produced on stage and is also used as a book in the classroom as a
way to inform and "open doors" to sensitivity and understanding. Jeff, age 11, copes with his parents' impending divorce. It is the very day of his parents' separation. Before Jeff can deal with it, he must face and play out his fears and his fantasies with his best friend, Sandy. More than anything the play is about the importance of talking and listening. Once the unspoken is finally out in the open, the whole family can begin to heal.

"Reviving Ophelia" by Sherie Bennett, directed by Patrick Strain. September 27 & 28. Thursday & Friday at 7:30pm at the Portage High School Theatre. Adults / $10 & Students / $6
Based on Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, one of the seminal nonfiction books of our time, this is the gripping story of four teenage girls battling the corrosive influences of popular
culture and each searching for the personal North Star that will guide her home. Playwright Bennett, specifically chosen by Dr. Mary Pipher to adapt her work, deftly leavens the drama with humor, tracing the intertwining lives of these four girls from first grade through middle school, and then through high school to graduation and young adulthood.

For more information, call Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St., at 608-742-5655.
   Schedule a Leadership Development course with MATC   
madison college Learn more about Leadership Development, Level I - Schedule a session today!
See the course outline, click here.

Barbara Martin Community & Corporate Services Madison Area Technical College
330 W. Collins Street Portage, WI 53901 608.745.3131
   River Haven to participate in Pardeeville Car and Truck Show   
River Haven will participate in the Annual Pardeeville Car and Truck show on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1.  We need volunteers who are interested in donating homemade pies and to work in a food cart. Please contact Jenny if you are interested in helping at or call at 608-742-7687.


Also, River Haven has eliminated morning shifts. However, there is still a great need for volunteer coverage for 4pm-6pm, 6pm-10pm, and overnight 10pm-6am shifts. If anyone you know is interested in volunteering have them call Jenny or stop by 108 E. Pleasant Street to pick up an application. 


River Haven is need of single beds for the men's shelter which is slated to open in mid-October. Other items that are consistently in need at the shelters are common household items, cleaners, hygene products, hats and gloves, socks, etc. Call 608-742-7687 for info on how you can help.


   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - Bindl Chiropractic

Tuesday, September 11th from 5pm-7pm

Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five. Hosted by Bindl Chiropractic


October Business After 5 - Indian Trails Campground

November Business After 5 - Free Spirit Travel

December Business After 5 - Prairie Flower Beads


Reserve a month in 2013 for your business before they're taken!!

   Banners proudly proclaim: Welcome to Portage      
canal banners
New ambassadors in the form of banners greet eastbound motorists as they cross the Wisconsin River Highway 33 bridge to Portage. Thanks to AmericanWay and the City of Portage Tourism for contributing the funding for three sets of six banners that will be rotated on a seasonal basis. Currently, historic locations appear on the banners with winter and springtime scenes scheduled to appear around November 1st and March or April. 
Watch for American flags to soon be added on the light poles, courtesy of AmericanWay.

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Community Events

   September Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
5th:   Ambassador meeting at Community Bank   8am
11th: Business After 5 at Bindl Chiropractic
12th: Youth Leadership at Portage High School   8:30am
12th: Ribbon cutting at Madison College-Portage  5pm
   Ribbon Cuttings
  Shamrock rcA ribbon cutting was held at The Shamrock Bar and Grill, 316 DeWitt St., to celebrate this new business in Portage. Tim and Jen Green look forward to serving the Portage community. Check out our daily food and drink specials. Open at 6am seven days a week. For more information, call 608-742-0663.


   Give Portage Green Gift Certificates!  
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5 and $10 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. Don't get worked up over figuring out what to get someone; make it easy on yourself and give them Portage Green Gift Certificates! For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.


The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to