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Chamber NewsBreak - December 2012

   Cookie Walk, Breakfast with Santa next up for Chamber events
Two Chamber events are a part of the holiday festivities in Portage in December. The Cookie Walk will be held on Saturday, December 1 from 9am to Noon. Twenty-two Chamber member businesses are participating in the walk this year. People can come to the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., and purchase a cookie box and map featuring participating businesses along with some special offers they are promoting. The cost of the box is $5 and the proceeds this year will be donated to the Portage Mural Project. People can walk around to the various locations and fill up their boxes with cookies. We ask participants to limit themselves to one cookie per box per location.

The Learning Tree Childcare Center will be inside the Chamber office hosting free cookie decorating for all the children interested in participating in the Cookie Walk. Santa will also be at Portage Center for the Arts from 9:30am to 10:30am.

culvers logo
Another Chamber event, the Culver's Breakfast with Santa will be held on Saturday, December 8 at 8am & 9am at Culver's Restaurant, 2733 New Pinery Rd.  Tickets are required for this event and are available at the Portage Chamber, 104 W. Cook St.  Families will enjoy a great breakfast and children will get to spend some quality time on Santa's lap for a wonderful photo opportunity. The cost of the breakfast is free with the necessary ticket and donation of a non-perishable food item for each person in the group.  Thanks to Culver's for putting on a great meal and welcoming families, and Santa, again this year.

For more information about these or other events, please call 608-742-6242 or visit 
   Welcome New Chamber Members   
Nancy M. Beasley
1110 Saddle Ridge West   Portage, WI  53901
Nancy Beasley at 608-742-5757

Mobil Travel Plaza
2725 New Pinery Rd.  Portage, WI 53901
John and Daniel Bennett at 608-742-0555
Convenience store, gas station, liquor store.

Bennett & Bennett, LLC
135 W. Cook St.  Portage, WI 53901
Mark and Todd Bennett at 608-742-2109
Attorneys located in downtown Portage.

Sheila Link Agency, Inc.
240 W. Cook St.   Portage, WI 53901
Sheila Link at 608-742-3999
Multi-line insurance sales including life, health, auto, home, 
farm and business plus annuities and IRAs.
   Chamber Member Profile:  Shamrock Bar & Grill   
Tim and Jen Green had an amazing opportunity to own our own bar in Portage. With a lot of help and hard work, we were able to make our dream come true. Shamrock opened July 30, 2012. One of the great things about owning a bar is the different people you are able to meet on a daily basis. The chance to meet so many people, from so many different walks of life is wonderful! Some make you laugh, and others can bring tears to your eyes.

We offer a very comfortable atmosphere. You are able to walk into our bar and feel at ease. We offer food from 6am, until bar time. We do have 2 pool tables, 4 dart boards, a DJ/Karaoke on Tuesday nights, a DJ on Friday nights, and live music a few times a month! So far, the response has been great! We also offer a Happy Hour, Monday through Friday - 7am-10am, and from 3pm-6pm. We also have different drink and food specials daily. 

We are running a special for the holiday season, for The Caring Tree. If someone brings in a new, unwrapped toy, a new hat, with a new pair of mittens, that person will receive a special drink chip (for a free drink) good for Christmas night only. We will be opening at 8:00pm Christmas night. There will be DJ/Karaoke that evening as well. We are hoping for a great response for a great cause!

We are aware that we are "the new kids" in town, but we run a good clean business and want everyone to give us a chance! Stop in for lunch or dinner (and maybe a few beverages). Next time you are walking, or driving downtown, stop in and see us! We would love to meet you! Thank you for giving us the chance to be apart of this wonderful community!
The Shamrock Bar & Grill is located at 316 DeWitt St. in downtown Portage. For more information, call 742-0663.
   Canadian Pacific Rail Holiday Train coming to town!    
holiday train logo

The CP Rail Holiday Train rolls into the Portage Amtrak Station on Sunday, December 9 at 1:30pm raising food donations for the local food pantries. Featured as entertainment on the train this year are The Claymores and Tracey Brown.


From now through December 9 you can drop off non-perishable food items at the Portage Police Department, City Hall, the Portage Chamber, BMO Harris Bank, local churches, Jeff's Tire and the Portage Library (the Library is holding their Food For Fines drive. Pay your fines with non-perishable food items through Dec. 1).  Pierce's Market Place is also hosting a food donation drive. 


The Rotary Club is hosting a free Brat Feed prior to the train's arrival. Bring a non-perishable food item with you and get a free brat. For more information, call the Portage Chamber office at 608-742-6242. 

   Holiday Open House at Pierce's Market Place           

pierces logo Pierce's Market Place, 2915 New Pinery Rd., has some great things going on during its Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 1 from 10am to 1pm. Families can get a picture with Santa from 11am-1pm for $1 with all proceeds are going toward the Giving Tree.


The first 200 attendees will receive a specially marked Pierce's reusable bag.  Customers receiving this bag will receive a 5% discount on all items that fit in the bag (excludes money grams, tobacco, lottery, alcohol and gift cards).


Check out the Holiday Deli and Bakery Items with a sample assortment of food and deli trays, sample holiday baked goods from our scratch bakery and sample other holiday favorites including eggnog, hot cider, coffee, cheese and popcorn.


Kids will really enjoy our guessing and coloring contests and cookie decorating. Visit for more information. 


ed don rick ad

   Make plans for Ladies Night Out in downtown Portage!    
Ladies Night Out is scheduled for December 6 in downtown Portage from 4pm to 8:30pm. Pick up your official map at the Corner Pocket, 301 DeWitt St., then tour each of the 10+ participating businesses and get your map stamped. End with your map as your entry into the 8:30pm drawing at the Corner Pocket. 

Make a purchase from a merchant and receive an additional bonus coupon for the drawing. You could win a prize!  For more information, call Forever Your's Jewelry at 608-745-3330.
   Wauona Trails Manor homes available  
Wauona Trails Manor logo Discover your future home in the heart of our community...

Homesite - Lot #94, 1986 Marshfield for $23,900
Homesite - Lot #88, 1999 Liberty for $28,900
Homesite - Lot #18, 2007 Redman for $39,000
Homesite - Lot #84, 2011 Fairmount for $54,900
All sites 16 x 80, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths

Rent $245 plus taxes and utilities; Enjoy snuggle in special: 2 months free rent! Buyers only. 

Ask Karen about our promotions, call 608-742-3259. Wauona Trails Manor, 601 Wauona Trail.
   BrightStar wins awards           
BrightStar logo

BrightStar's Baraboo branch won the 2012 Franchisee of the Year Award, presented by the corporate office each year to the franchisee who demonstrates impressive sales achievements, serves as a shining example of how to run a successful operation, and is a devoted BrightStar Care advocate.


They also won the 2012 Clinical Excellence Award, recognizing the BrightStar Care offices who achieve distinct excellence in their clinical operations, including Joint Commission Accreditation and early adoption of clinical programs like BrightStar Clinical PathwaysSM.

   Portage Center for the Arts events   
portage center for the artsPortage Center for the Arts is host to a number of great events coming up in the next month. Gale Singers Community Choir is proud to present their annual Holiday Concert, on Sunday, December 2 at 4pm. Tickets are $5 at the door. 

December's theme for the Photos and Poetry in the Foyer contest is "Comfort Food".  Entries for both the photos and the poetry are due on the 1st of the month and will be on display December 5 - December 29, 2012.  Voting is $1 per vote; voting for photos and poetry are separate; a winner in each category. For more information and guidelines, check our website,
Our annual exhibit of the art of our own local artists will be on display from December 7 through December 29. Join us at the Opening Reception, Friday, December 7 from 4pm to 6pm to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and marvel at the talent we have in our community. The exhibit is located in the Drury Gallery at Portage Center for the Arts

The Agape Youth Choir presents the dramatic musical "Hark! The Angels Sing" by Dennis and Nan Allen. Composed of 30 high school and college age students from throughout Columbia, Marquette, Sauk and Adams counties, the choir's repertoire ranges from sacred choral to contemporary cantatas.

The performance is scheduled for December 9 at 2pm.
Portage Center for the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook Street, 608-742-5655, and is open Wednesday-Friday from 1pm-6pm and Saturday from 10am 3pm. E-mail or visit
glacier rock flyer dec 12
   Memorial Service planned   
Home Health United (HHU), in collaboration with Picha Funeral Home, presents a Memorial Service on Saturday, December 1 from 11am to Noon. The service will take place at Picha Funeral Home, 302 E. Conant St.
Each year, HHU-Hospice partners with the communities Picha Funeral Homes serve to plan memorial services for those who have passed away. They are open to anyone in the community who has suffered a loss. 

Please call 877-356-4514 if you are interested in attending this memorial event. Visit  

   Indian Agency House presents annual Christmas Events   

Historic Indian Agency House (HIAH) presents a couple great events during the holiday season. One of the most popular events, the HIAH Kiddie Christmas, returns on Wednesday, December 5th from 4pm to 6 pm in the Visitor's Center. Participants at this free family event will make old-fashioned Christmas ornaments to decorate the Agency House tree and design a "stained glass" votive candleholder to gift or keep.

Apple cider and treats will refresh young guests, and Santa Claus is scheduled to stop by at 4:30pm! All goodies and activity materials will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis; doors open promptly at 4pm. Although this event is free as always, donations are encouraged and will be gratefully accepted.  

Then, join us on Thursday, December 6 from 6pm-9pm as the Historic Indian Agency House once again rings in the Portage holidays with a nostalgic celebration of the season.  Guests of "Christmas at the Kinzies" will enjoy a night of good food, hearty drink, and excellent conversation. Musical entertainment will be provided by the young and talented Nicholas and Cody Santas on the violin, performing renditions of your favorite holiday tunes.  Mingle with old friends and meet new ones during this mixer.  A complete list of silent auction items can be found at the Chamber website. 


All proceeds from the event will benefit local historic site and educational venue, the Historic Indian Agency House. Tickets are $25 per person ($20 for members of the Agency House Supporters group) and are available at the Portage Chamber of Commerce. You can also reserve your tickets by calling 742-6362 or email

   Portage Community Fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy Relief       
A Portage Community Fundraiser to raise money to bring hope and renew lives for Sandy's victims will be held on Saturday, December 8 at the VFW Post 1707 located behind Walgreen's on New Pinery Rd.  Come to the VFW to socialize, buy some baked goods, enter raffles, have a sandwich, and listen to some good music.

A bake sale kicks off the event at 11am. Enjoy live music all day from local musicians: Portage High School Jazz Ensemble, Michelle DuVall & Doug Brown, Gadjo, and Maestro Fuzz (performing from 8pm to 11pm.) More musicians may be scheduled.

Free admission. All proceeds will be donated. For more information call the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce at 608-742-6242.
Additional Holiday Happenings        
The holiday season in Portage is a special time beginning in November with the Santa Fly-in and continues on in December with many event happenings, which are listed below. For your convenience, you may print a holiday event guide by clicking here. Be sure to place it where it is visible as an easy reminder. For more information about a particular event, visit or call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.

December 7     Historic Living Windows  6pm-8pm
                        Dozens of decorated Shoppe windows in charming, vintage vignettes                                     depicting holiday seasons of old. Street performers, bands, complimentary                             Treats on the Streets.

December 8    
Love Light Celebration, 22nd Annual at Tivoli at DSH    

                        The Love Light Trees will be lit in memory or in honor of your loved ones and                         also a red, white and blue tree to honor and salute Military Personnel.  

                        To conclude the evening join family, friends, staff and residents for fellowship                         and refreshments. 


December 9     Breakfast at the KC Hall       7am-11am

                        Join us at the Knights of Columbus Hall for a Pancake Breakfast from 7am-                             11am.  Proceeds from the breakfast will go to Portage Splash Pad that is                                 being built in Goodyear Park along with a Skateboard Park.

                        Eggs will be made to order, along with pancakes and so much more. Santa                            Claus will stop by for the morning and visit with all the kids and adults!

                        Help us collect food for the Portage Food Pantry and bring a non-perishable                           food item.

December 14-16   
Bartels Middle School holiday plays
                            "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, Adapted by Leslie Wolfson
                            and "Recapturing Christmas" by Lynnette Little

                            December 14, and 15th at 7:30 pm and December 16th at 2:00 pm.

                            Ticket prices are:  $5.00 adults and $2.50 students

                            Presented in the Portage Center of the Arts building on East Cook Street

                            (Funding for the play was made available from the Portage Area                                             Community Theatre group)

   Give Portage Green Gift Certificates this Holiday Season!  
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.
   Sign up to be a Salvation Army bell ringer   
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring bells at their bucket locations throughout Portage. Ringers are needed Fridays and Saturdays, November 16 through December 22 for one-hour shifts, preferably longer, if you desire. To volunteer, call Bekky at 608-567-9060. 
   Register now for Chamber Business Breakfast    

Join us for our Business Breakfast to network and make those important connections with Chamber members that can help you in your business or career. 
When: Tuesday, December 11th
Where:  B&B Hitching Post
Time:  Breakfast at 7:15am, Speaker at 8am
Cost: $10,  cash or check please
This month -  Train Your Brain for Success
Your Brain is the single biggest driver of your energy, your focus, and the results you get in every area of life.   Your career, your finances, your physical health, your relationships- all of them are constantly created and influenced by your thinking. Unfortunately, your brain didn't come with an owner's manual...until now.
In Train Your Brain For Success, you will learn to harness the incredible creative capacity of your mind and achieve your personal best - professionally, financially and personally. Best part? You'll do this in about the time it takes to go out for lunch.
Based on Roger Seip's bestselling book, Train Your Brain For Success is extremely interactive, incredibly eye-opening, and a lot of fun! Participants will definitely gain insights that will make them more effective immediately, and come away with a plan for making that improvement last. Do not miss it!
Presenter: Roger Seip, owner and founder of Freedom Personal Development has personally delivered professional programs to more than 1,500 companies.  Roger's programs educate and entertain, while repeatedly proving to make lasting improvements in his clients' personal and professional lives.  

Register online by following this link.

   Expose your business in 2013! Use the Chamber to advertise!  
Chamber members can now choose from 3 great options to expose their business in 2013. Members can place an ad in this monthly newsletter for just $250 for the year. Or you can choose to advertise on our homepage,, with a rotating ad--choose this option for only $500 for the year and we'll throw in a year-long run of monthly newsletter ads for $200.

The third option is purchasing a permanent ad on the Chamber's homepage. Be the star and enjoy an ad that is always on the front page of the website for a year. Take this option for $1,000 and we'll even throw in a year-long newsletter ad. Regardless of which option you choose, all ads serve as clickable links to your own website.

We want to expose your business. Take advantage of the Chamber site now--each year we receive more than one million hits. Call the Chamber today at 742-6242.
   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - Prairie Flower Beads

Tuesday, December 11th from 5pm-7pm

Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five. Hosted by Prairie Flower Beads.    



January Business After 5 - Days Inn

February Business After 5 - Markent Solutions

March Business After 5 - United Country Hamele Auction Services


Reserve a month in 2014, yes 2014, for your business before they're taken!!


Community Events

   December Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
1st     Ribbon Cutting at Studio K Hair Design at 8:45am
1st     Cookie Walk   9am-Noon
5th     Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank  8am
8th     Culver's Breakfast with Santa    
11th   Business After 5 at Prairie Flower Beads    5pm-7pm

Chamber office will be closed on 24th & 25th for a Merry Christmas!
   Ribbon Cuttings
mobil trvl plza rc
A ribbon cutting was held at Mobil Travel Plaza, 2725 New Pinery Road. Open every day from 6am to 10pm, we offer one-stop shopping--A convenience store with liquor, beer, wine, live bait and gas at low prices. For more information call 608-742-0555. 
miller brussell rc
A ribbon cutting was held at Miller, Brussell, Ebben, & Glaeske, 611 W. Wisconsin St.  A full service Certified Public Accounting firm that provides tax preparation & planning, accounting services, financial statement audits and business consulting. Now is a good time to use their services for 2012/2013 tax preparation and planning needs. Call 608-742-2103 for more information.
river haven men shelr rc
A ribbon cutting was held at River Haven Men's Homeless Shelter. River Haven Homeless Shelters are still in need of male volunteers for evening and overnight shifts. Please call 608-742-7687.



remedy staffing rc

A ribbon cutting was held at Remedy Intelligent Staffing, 104 W. Cook St, Suite 103 (in the Phoenix building facing DeWitt St.). For more information, call 608-742-4737. 


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