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Chamber NewsBreak - February 2013

   Discover Wisconsin--Portage style!   
emmy doug.jpg After a year of filming various attractions, events and our community....The Premiere Is Here!! See the Discover Wisconsin-Portage edition before it airs. The public is invited to attend the premiere at the Portage Public Library on Thursday, February 21 at 6pm. Mark your calendar and join us to see a star in the making...Portage!

The DW crew captured many community highlights of the past year. Host Emmy Fink was game as we put her on the water, on the slopes, in a kid's pedal tractor pull and in a theater performance. She even sampled tasty treats from local businesses. There is a good chance you will recognize the friendly faces that make cameos in the program, which airs in seven Midwestern states.  

We are grateful for contributions from the following businesses and organizations that made this program possible: City of Portage Tourism, Cascade Mountain, Divine Savior Healthcare, Business Improvement District, Sky High Camping Resort, Crawford Oil and Propane, Wisconsin River Title Consultants, Inc. and the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce. Funding is still needed to support the project. If you would like to contribute, please call the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce office at 608-742-6242.    

Come out and watch a star on the screen: Thursday, February 21 at Portage Public Library at 6pm.                 
   Business Profile: Don-Rick Insurance
Don-Rick Insurance was established in 1971 by Rick Lewison and Don Olson, two entrepreneurs looking to build their own business in the Baraboo and Portage area. Rick and Don were brother-in-laws and both came from Sentry Insurance Company and were interested in the independent insurance agency model.

Starting basically from scratch, their business grew along with the help from companies like CNA, Iowa National, Economy Fire & Casualty and General Casualty and by the 80's the agency had grown significantly in premium. In 1989, Don retired and Rick Lewison became the sole owner.

By 1994, Rick's sons Eric and Dan Lewison joined the agency. Insurance processing was beginning to change with automation starting to evolve with the internet, download and paperless filing. One thing still remained constant with our agency still being based on the Independent Agency Model with our agency having several different companies with different product choices to round out our agency product offerings for our clients.

As small business owners, we do it all when needed. Eric primarily handles the administration of the agency including Automation, HR, Marketing and Managing the Personal Lines Department. Dan is in Sales and primarily manages our Commercial Lines Department along with the Benefits sales.

We are proud of the experienced staff we have been able to put together here at Don-Rick Insurance to service our client's needs. We would be nothing without our people. Our team consists of 13 people with the majority of our staff being with us for 10 years or more. Our employees are committed to serving our customers best interests and be their insurance agency of choice.

We offer Business, Home and Auto, Farm, Life, Health, Disability, Annuities, Medicare Supplements and Long-Term Care Insurance.

All employees are encouraged to participate in community events as well as industry related activities and as it states in our mission statement, we are also committed to our community. We donate annually to over 100 entities per year monetarily as well as many physically. We feel it is key to give back to the community's that have given us so much over the years.

Don-Rick Insurance enjoys providing our clients choices to meet their unique insurance needs and being involved in our community as we have been for over 40 years. Our future outlook is positive and we look forward to being in Downtown Portage for many years to come. When you need a change or would like a choice for your insurance needs, call Don-Rick Insurance, 236 W. Cook St., at 608-742-5548. 
   Welcome New Chamber Members   
Portage Presbyterian Church
120 W. Pleasant St.    Portage WI, 53901
David Hankins at 608-742-6006
A warm, inviting community of believers who offer times and spaces of 
sanctuary, compassion, worship, fellowship and peace. 
community bank web
   Nona's marks 5 years in business      
nona web 2 Nona's Tailoring & Tuxes owner Nona Lione celebrated five years in business in January. Her business spawned from Eulberg's men's clothing store. Lione worked as a seamstress at Eulberg's and paired her passion with a demand for alterations.

"I can't believe it's been five years," Lione said. "Portage has been very good to me."
Eulberg's owner, Dave Eulberg, recalls how Nona got started: 
I had just hired a lady to work part time helping our tailor Tony Carman when he died suddenly of a brain tumor. We needed an experienced sewer to assist her and Nona answered the call and shortly became our full time tailor when the other lady moved. Nona worked for us for almost 25 years. When I closed the store in 2007 I talked to her about opening her own shop. She was very reluctant, but I knew that there was a need for a tailor in Portage as well as a place to rent tuxedo's. After some convincing she opened Nona's Tailoring and Tuxes in January 2008. She has been very successful of which I am very proud. She's a great asset to our city. 

Nona's Tailoring & Tuxes is located at 210 W. Wisconsin St.  For more information, call 608-742-3257.
preschool program 2013

   Historic Indian Agency House announces 2013 events       
Mark your calendars for these events happening at the Historic Indian Agency House this year. Stay tuned for details about each event in upcoming monthly Chamber newsletters.

May 15   Opening Day
May 19   Grand Re-Opening, featuring Ho-Chunk Dancers
June 15   Flag Day Celebration, Speaker & Luncheon
June 24   "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, Installment 1 of 4
July 19 & July 20   Hands-On History Children's Workshop: Native American Mounds
July 30    "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, Installment 2 of 4
August 27  "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, Installment 3 of 4
September 14  HIAH Living History Event, "A Funeral at the Fort: An Exploration of 19th c. Deathways"
September 24 "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, final installment 
October 15 HIAH Closes for Season
October 19 HIAH Harvest Mixer & Silent Auction


Don rick web


   Portage Center for the Arts events   
portage center for the artsPortage Center for the Arts is delighted to partner with Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare in bringing original art to the community at large. From January 11 through April 30, 2013, we will feature the Watercolors by Chris Dreyer of Dreyer Designs. Watercolors are on display and for sale, with 25% of any sale benefiting Portage Center for the Arts. Tivoli is located at 2805 Hunters Trail, behind the hospital off Highway 51 North.  

"In the Studio with Pat" is an exhibit and sale of Oil Painting by Pat Eckert. This exhibit will run from February 1 through February 23 in the Drury Gallery at Poratage Center for the Arts. Join us at the Opening Reception, Friday, February 1, from 4pm to 6pm. Meet the artist, enjoy refreshments and marvel at the talent we have in our community.

Also, the deadline for entries in the February Photos & Poetry in the Foyer is February 1.  The theme for February is "These are a few of my favorite things'. 

The Brown Bag Lunch series continues with a presentation titled "Indian Mounds" by Linda Meadowcroft on Thursday, February 14 from 12pm to 12:45pm. The cost is just $5 at the door.  Linda Meadowcroft and the 3Crows Culture Works, Inc. work to preserve Native American culture, particularly the Indian Mounds of Wisconsin.

Back to the Country Review - Performing Arts Concert Series continues with this show on February 16 at 7:30pm.
Each season we have a six concert Performing Arts Series in our beautiful, intimate 272 seat Zona Gale Theatre. adult tickets are $20 and student tickets are $5.

Reserved season tickets and individual tickets are available. Generally the concerts consist of two 45 minute sets and a 15 minute intermission with complimentary refreshments served.


For more information on these events or to reserve a seat, contact Portage Center for the Arts, 301 East Cook Street, Portage,  608-742-5655.

   Alumni Basketball Tournament  coming up 
The 17th Annual Alumni Basketball Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17 with games scheduled from 9am to 8pm Saturday and 11:30am to 2:30pm Sunday. Matches will be held at the Portage High Gym, 301 E. Collins St.; John Muir Gym, 2600 Woodcrest Drive; and the Wayne E. Bartels Middle School Gym 2505 New Pinery Road. 

For more information, contact Sean Malone at 608-742-6754.
glacier rock feb 13
   Big Bundle Up campaign equals big success   
Wisconsin residents can "bundle up" better this winter thanks to the generous donations of Wisconsin residents and travelers through the Department of Tourism's "Big Bundle Up" campaign. A grand total of 17,155 warm clothing items, including hats, scarves, coats and mittens, were donated to over 80 different charities throughout Wisconsin. The total amount was more than five times what was collected during last year's campaign.

"We are so proud of the tourism industry's overwhelming support and enthusiasm and the generosity of
Wisconsin residents and travelers," Governor Scott Walker said. "Last year's 'mitten debate' with Michigan turned
into a positive initiative that has only continued to grow. We thank everyone for keeping that momentum going."

The campaign, which stemmed from last year's "Great Lakes Mitten Campaign," invited the public to donate new and gently used winter items to Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, participating chambers of commerce including the Portage Chamber, convention and visitors bureaus and local businesses. Tourism partners then donated the collected items to local and community charitable organizations and shelters.

"We are thrilled with the creativity and commitment of our tourism partners in making this a tremendous success," said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. "As an added benefit, it drew tons of people to the state's many tourist information centers where they could learn more about all the great travel opportunities we have to offer."
Suzy ad 2013
   Summit Credit Union offering continuing education scholarships   
summit credit union Summit Credit Union is awarding another four $1,500 tuition scholarships this April. Scholarship opportunities are available to all high school seniors and college students who are members of Summit Credit Union and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

To apply for the Summit Board of Directors Scholarships, students must be members of Summit for one year as of Jan. 1, 2013; have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; and complete an application and explain in an essay how a credit union's cooperative structure benefits its members and the communities it serves

Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on grade point averages, extracurricular and community activities, employment experience and the essay. Applications must be completed by Feb. 28, 2013. Students should visit: to review the full eligibility requirements and complete the application.

Summit Credit Union has helped 32 area students pursue quality higher education for 11 years. The Board of Director Scholarship program supports Summit's ongoing educational outreach efforts and its commitment to the communities in which it serves.

Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative open to anyone in Wisconsin. Summit holds $1.8 billion in assets and has more than 125,000 members with a total of 23 locations throughout the Madison and Milwaukee areas. For more information, visit or call (608) 243-5000 or (800) 236-5560.
   Winter Fun at Mirror Lake State Park     
Join us for a fun winter evening at Mirror Lake State Park on Saturday, February 2 during our Candlelight Hike-Ski-Snowshoe event! From 6pm to 8 pm we will have two easy 1-mile trails lit by torches. One will be for skiers and the other for everyone to enjoy.

Hot food goodies and hot drinks will be for sale to enjoy around the roaring bonfires. 
A Wisconsin State Park Sticker is required and the new 2013 stickers will be available for purchase. For more information, call 608-254-2333. Mirror Lake is located at E10320 Fern Dell Road in Baraboo.

   Attend the Mayoral Forum    
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Question and Answer Session regarding the upcoming Mayoral Election in 2013 at the Portage Center for the Arts on Wednesday, February 6 at 6pm.

We encourage attendance by community members. If you have a question to ask, please send the question to our office ahead of time. E-mail your question to or call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.
   St. Mary School Open House and Pancake Supper       
st. mary logo
You are invited to the St. Mary School Open House on Tuesday, February 12 from 4pm to 7pm. This open house event gives parents and children an opportunity to tour the school and meet the teachers. We invite all families of children ages 3-14 to visit our facility and see the St. Mary School difference. 

The evenings first presentation and first Q & A session takes place at 4:30pm followed by a second session at 6pm. There will be games and activities for the kids.

Enjoy the annual 
Pancake Supper from 4:30pm to 7pm. For more information, contact St. Mary School, 315 Cook St., at 608-742-4998.
The Monet and Merlot Series continues on February 21 from 6pm to 9pm at St. Mary's Catholic School, 315 W. Cook St. We invite you to join us for a new, fun and social class where you can explore your creative side. This fun and unique painting class is taught by local art professional Peg Napralla. She will guide you step by step to recreate a masterpiece. No painting experience is necessary and all the needed materials are provided.

Sign up for one or all of the classes. On February 21 the theme is VanGogh and Vino. Recreate a famous "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. On April 11, it's Seurat and Shiraz. Create a painting entirely from dots of color.

Each session is from 6pm-9pm and is $45 per person per session. Call St Mary's at 742-4998 and talk with the school principal to enroll.
   Portage hosts the Miss Heart of Wisconsin Pageant

You are invited to attend the second Miss Heart of Wisconsin Pageant being held at the High School Auditorium in Portage on Saturday, February 9 at 6pm.  The Miss Heart of Wisconsin is a preliminary to the Miss Wisconsin pageant in June. 


Young women between the ages of 17 and 24 that are residents of Wisconsin and at least a senior in high school are eligible. Contestants compete in the interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent, and evening gown competitions. For more information, contact Brenda Collins at 608-566-7021.

   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - February 

Tuesday, February 12 from 5pm-7pm hosted by Markent Solutions at Portage Center for the Arts.

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


March Business After 5 - United Country Hamele Auction & Realty

April Business After 5 - U.S. Cellular


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

   Attend Business Day in Madison  

Wisconsin's premier legislative program brings business leaders from all over the state together to meet with policymakers and discuss important issues facing our state during Business Day in Madison on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison.


Click here for a complete schedule and registration information. Listen to experts on current issues; Network with others from the business community; Deliver your message to elected officials. 


In November, America decided our elected officials should stay the course. But what does that mean for your business, your employees, your families and our nation? Will our leaders be dedicated to economic growth and opportunity?

Please join us as we present some of the brightest minds in the nation to discuss the future. Contact Jane Algiers at 608-661-6925 for more information. Tickets are available for purchase online at or by calling 608-258-3400. 

    Get ready to throw stones! Bonspiel events coming up   
portage curling club
The USWCA Bonspiel is being held on Thursday, February 14 through Sunday, February 17 at the Portage Curling Club. There are 32 women's teams competing from across the country. 
The 37th U.S. Senior Men's National Bonspiel is scheduled for Thursday, February 21 and through Sunday, February 24. Over 300 men curlers, aged 55 and older, will be curling at the 5 Columbia County Curling Clubs: Portage, Pardeeville, Poynette, Arlington and Lodi. For more information about these two events, visit
The Portage Curling Club was established circa 1850. The club operates a 4-sheet facility from late October until March each year. Leagues are offered for men, women and mixed rinks, as well as a junior curling program. The Portage Curling Club is home to five curling clubs. 
   Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Expo 
Support the American Legion Auxiliary's Homeless Women Veterans Grant Program!  A Veterans Expo, silent auction and Benefit Concert featuring Country Singer Ricky Lee is scheduled for Friday, February 15 at Ho-Chunk Casino in Baraboo. The event is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, American Legion Auxiliary, United Women Veterans, and Ho-Chunk Gaming. Proceeds from the event will support the Wisconsin American Legion Auxiliary Homeless Women Veterans Grant Program. 

Veterans Expo is from noon to 5pm with resource tables and vendor booths; silent auction is from noon to 6pm; Ricky Lee's Benefit Concert Lee is from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets for the concert will be sold at the event for $5.

Please help us promote the event and encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to attend! For more information, contact Carolyn Morgan at the WDVA at 608-266-1312.

Community Events

   February Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
6th      Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank     8am
6th      Mayoral Forum at Portage Center for the Arts      6pm
12th    Business After 5 - hosted by Markent Solutions at Portage Center for the Arts  5pm
15th    Youth Leadership Session     8:30am at Culver's Headquarters
21st     Discover Wisconsin-Portage Premier at  Portage Public Library  6pm
   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. 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