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Chamber NewsBreak - August 2013

   Taste of Portage Market Fair marks 22 years 
taste of portage logo
A local summertime tradition continues this month with the Taste of Portage Market Fair scheduled for Friday evening, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. Come out and enjoy family fun at this event where there will be great food, live music, kid's activities, an art and craft show along with a car show. 

The event kicks off at Market Square Friday evening with the Food Court and Beer Tent opening at 5pm, followed by live music from Chameleon playing familiar classic rock tunes until 11pm. 

On Saturday, the event revs back up with a 'ZumbaŽ Party to benefit St. Mary's School' at Market Square beginning at 8:30am. The craft vendors can be found along Cook Street from 9am to 4pm with the all-make/all-model car show from 9am to 3pm along DeWitt St.

The food court and beer tent are open from 10am to 6pm at Market Square. Kid's activities can be found in front of Wilz Drug on Cook St. from 11am -3pm. This year, the Learning Tree Childcare Center Craft Area joins Open Arms Creation Station for Kids, Lochlan the Magician, Indian Agency House Hands on Demonstration Area for Kids, and Funtime Bounce Houses and Obstacle Course from 11am to 3pm. The ever-popular kid's pedal pull happens at 1pm across from Bank Mutual. 

Live music fills the air at Market Square on Saturday with Fuzzy Side Up performing classics from the 60's, 70's and 80's from 11:30am to 3:30pm and the Portage High School Jazz Ensemble playing from 4pm to 6pm. Razz Ma Tazz Dixieland Jazz plays on the corner of Cook and DeWitt St. in downtown from 11am to 2pm.

We are looking for sponsors for this great summer event. Please click here for a sponsorship form.

Gold Level sponsors:
taste of portage tent
City of Portage Tourism
Business Improvement District

Bronze Level sponsors:
Crawford Oil & Propane
Portage National Bank
Hill Automotive
Johnson Chiropractic
Weaver Auto Parts
Wisconsin River Title
First Weber Realty
Fairway Independent Mortgage
Silver Level sponsors:
Don-Rick Insurance
Portage Motors
Community Bank

For more information, visit
   Business Profile: Fire Dynamics 
craig ratz Fire Dynamics, LLC is a customer-oriented company that specializes in testing, inspections, training and the sales of fire safety equipment. We specialize in all areas of fire safety, protection and prevention, including servicing and recharging fire extinguishers, testing of emergency lighting and fire alarm and fire safety training. We sell fire safety and emergency equipment, all at a very reasonable cost.

After more than 20 years of conducting fire inspections, I understand the frustration business owners frequently experience regarding the service and costs of companies that sell and service fire extinguishers and fire safety equipment. I also see, again and again, that the service these companies provide actually does not meet our local fire codes. Often these companies are more concerned with selling non-essential equipment, rather than bringing existing, required equipment up to code. I realize that I can provide a much better and more immediate service to our local business at a more economical price.

Fire Dynamics began in 1999 when I became licensed and copywrited to teach Fire Safety to the health care industry. It has recently expanded to encompass all area businesses and their need for fire safety. Fire Dynamics is much more than a business to me. It is a passion! I have dedicated a big part of my life to protecting people from the dangers of fire. I am very excited to have the opportunity to provide additional protection through the newly expanded Fire Dynamics, LLC.

All buildings need fire safety equipment and a fire safety plan. I can provide that to anyone from small businesses to large corporations, from residential homes to multi-family apartment buildings and everything and everyone in between. Fire Dynamics is locally owned and operated. I offer the most cost-effective alternative to my competitors and I am passionate about protecting everyone-citizens, businesses, and the community as a whole-from the dangers of fire. I have dedicated my life to this cause and will continue to work hard to serve the people of Portage through Fire Dynamics.

When people think of Fire Dynamics, I want to feel reassurance that they have done all they can to make themselves as safe as possible from fire and that Fire Dynamics offers great customer service and pricing. I bring to the job years of experience as a firefighter and Fire Inspector that includes intimate working knowledge of fire codes and fire protection equipment. With this, Fire Dynamics, LLC is an excellent choice for anyone in Portage and surrounding communities for all their fire safety needs.

My goal for this company is to make a more safe community, with buildings that reach or surpass fire codes. Fire Dynamics, LLC is also a business that will give back to the community, making a difference by exploring even more areas of fire safety, protection and prevention.

Craig Ratz, Owner
   Affordable Care Act: Is your business ready?    
Join the Portage Chamber on Thursday, August 8 as Ted Nickel, Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin,  talks with us about the upcoming Affordable Care Act and how it will impact your business at Dino's Restaurant from 11am to 1pm.

This informative session is just $10 for Chamber members. Register online at 
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs. OCI performs a variety of tasks to protect insurance consumers and ensure a competitive insurance environment. OCI's major functions include:

Reviewing insurance policies that are sold in Wisconsin to make sure they meet the requirements set forth in Wisconsin law; Conducting examinations of domestic and foreign insurers to ensure compliance with Wisconsin laws and rules; Monitoring the financial solvency of licensed companies to make sure that consumers have the insurance coverage they expect when they need it; Issuing licenses to the various parties involved in selling and marketing insurance products; Assisting insurance consumers with their insurance problems; Researching special insurance issues to understand and assess their impact on Wisconsin; Providing technical assistance on legislation and promulgating administrative rules to interpret insurance laws; Creating and distributing public information and consumer education pieces to educate people about insurance; and Operating a state life insurance fund, a property fund for the property owned by local units of government, and a patients compensation fund insuring health care providers for medical malpractice.



Don rick web


   Welcome New Members         
Gretchen Willis Photography
W6357 Gem Ave.      Endeavor, WI 53930
Gretchen Willis at 817-863-4472
Custom photography for families and events in 
Marquette and Columbia Counties.

Technology Atlantis
1130 W. Pleasant St., Apt. 1    Portage, WI 53901
Shane Johnson at 563-495-7569
Higher end hand built computers as well as other 
higher end electronics and innovative products.

Kammer & Greiber, S.C.
702 DeWitt St., Suite A    Portage, WI 53901
Ashley Achterberg at 608-742-3234
Law firm located in downtown Portage.

Fire Dynamics
614 W. Carroll St.     Portage, WI 53901
Craig Ratz at 608-697-4905
Service, testing, maintaining, sales and service of fire safety/extinguisher equipment.
us cellular contest At U.S. Cellular, we're proud to stand with small business owners of America. And we want to put them in the spotlight.

Enter your business by September 1 at to enter for a chance to win up to $25,000 in advertising, one year of service and devices, or $5000 cash.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open only to small business owners. For official contest rules and details, click on the image at right.  
   Last chance this summer: Take a Guided Downtown Walking Tour
judy walking tour Spend the morning learning about Historic Downtown Portage. The famous free guided tour, featured on the Discover Wisconsin-Portage program, starts at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce office, 104 W. Cook St.
This is your last chance to have local historian Judy Eulberg take you on guided tour of downtown this season. This last hour-long tour is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 at 10 a.m.
   Women's Civic League home touring hours   
The Women's Civic League, formerly the home of Zona Gale, is open for tours every Saturday through August from 1pm to 3pm.  The $5 charge is used to defray the costs of maintaining this National Register of Historic Places building.  Please come and visit this integral part of Historic Portage.
   Enjoy Concerts at the Portage each week  
concert at the Portage
Concerts at the Portage will be held every Wednesday at 6:30pm at the VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins St., behind Walgreen's in Portage. Enjoy these free concerts featuring a different band every week. Please note that the concerts have moved for 2013 during the construction at Riverside Park. 

Bring your chairs and blankets and listen to the sounds of music during the summer. You can bring your own picnic dinner or order carry-out from a local restaurant. Desserts will be served by local non-profit groups. 

Click on the logo at right for a list of performances. For more information, call Carmen at the Columbia County Visitors Bureau at 608-742-6161.
commbank april ad
   Kiwanis Ride to Read - Bike Ride Fundraiser   
Kiwanis Ride to Read - Bike Ride Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, August 10. Please join the Portage Kiwanis Club in their Metric Century "Ride to Read" fundraiser pedaling through scenic Amish country with 4 routes available. The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to purchase books for KIDS. Fees include continental breakfast, refreshment stops in route, detailed route map, complimentary gift and SAG wagon if needed. All proceeds will be used to purchase and distribute children's books. 
Enjoy carefully marked and mapped routes on low traffic roads through Columbia, Marquette and Green Lake Counties. Four route options of 15, 30, 45 and 62 miles (metric century) travel through scenic and historic Amish countryside. Start location is the Park located along the Canal on Mullett Street just on the eastside of Hwy 51/16.  
Pre-registration $25 with t-shirt option, $30 day of registration. For more information, visit  or call 608-742-884.
   Portage City Flea Markets     
The 2013 Portage City Flea Market feature crafts, produce, antiques, collectibles, and rummage sale items happens on the first Saturdays of the month at Veterans Memorial Field, home of the Columbia County Fair. The event is held inside and outside the Bidwell building in the center of the area from 7am to 3pm rain or shine.

The free-to-the-public markets continue through September. Booth spaces for vendors, measuring approximately 15'x10', are available for a fee. Call the Portage Park and Recreation Department at 608-742-2178. The next chance to enjoy the market is Saturday, August 3.
maggie mae poster
   Pierce's Christmas in July Food Pantry Promotion; 89th Anniversary   
pierces logo Christmas in July Food Pantry Promotion at Pierce's Market Place, 2915 New Pinery Road, continues through Sunday, August 4. Help us fill the Food Pantry this summer. Make a cash donation or purchase a Food Pantry Bag already packaged with items needed. Visit for more information.
Also, stop in and help us celebrate 89 years of service to the community on Thursday, August 15 through Wednesday, August 21 with specials throughout the store.
   Crawford Oil and Propane Customer Appreciation Day   

Crawford Oil and Propane Customer Appreciation Day is happening on Friday, August 2.

Come out for a FREE lunch of BBQ Pork Sandwiches and Hot Dogs.  There will be a bounce house and pony rides for the kids.  Drawings for a HDTV from BJ's of Portage, beer and soda sales and all non-fuel sales will be going to the Portage Library Foundation. Come out and have fun and enjoy a free lunch. 

   Skate Park Bake Sale   
A couple of fundraising events are coming up to help raise money and awareness for the skate park to be located in Goodyear Park. The Portage Family Skate Park Bake Sale will be held on Saturday, August 3, during Sidewalk Sales in front of Prairie Flower Beads, 210 W. Cook St.

Also, the Skate Park will benefit from proceeds from the Pierce's Market Brat Hut, 2915 New Pinery Rd., on Sunday, August 11 from 10am to 2pm.    

Come out and support this project while enjoying some goodies.
For more information, contact June Paul at 608-742-7787.

   Agency House Happenings       
spring hiah web

The Historic Indian Agency House at Fort Winnebago will host their fourth annual lecture series this summer, with one lecture a month through September. "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, installment 3 of 4, is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27.


Portage Days at Historic Indian Agency House is scheduled for Saturday, August 10. On the second Saturday of the month through October of our 2013 season, residents of Portage, Wisconsin are encouraged to take a FREE guided tour of the Historic Indian Agency House. In grateful recognition of 2013 operations funding granted by the City of Portage, we invite our in-town neighbors to learn more about the historic site that your tax dollars help support. Proof of Portage residency required; call for a list of accepted documents.

Please Note: Use of the Nature Trail is an additional fee, except on Nature Trail Tuesdays
(2nd Tues. of the month, June to Oct 2013)-when Wisconsinites walk for free! 
Contact Destinee at 608-742-6362. 
   Super Sidewalk Sales in Downtown   
Enjoy Summer sidewalk sales with specials throughout various stores in the downtown.  Come shop for the day and enjoy lunch on Saturday, August 3. For more information, call Main Street Portage at 608-745-1861. 
   Triad Pork Fundraiser   
A Triad Pork Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 from 10am to 2pm at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2950 New Pinery Road. Enjoy $3 Pork Sandwiches or $5 meals that include chips, lemonade & homemade bars. Carry-outs available, too. Sponsoring Partner- Divine Savior Healthcare. For more information, contact Penny Kiefer at 608-742-2174.
   St. Mary's Golf Outing    
St. Mary Golf Outing is scheduled for Sunday, August 4 from 1pm to 6pm at the Portage Country Club. If you would like to participate, we would greatly appreciate your support. Our goal is to put together an enjoyable, high quality event for those who participate, and to raise money to continue to purchase technology equipment for the school and fund the Patty Quigley Scholarship. This year we are looking to expand on last year's event in all areas of the tournament including sponsorships, prizes and participants.

For more information, visit 
or call Kari at 608-742-6998.
   AmericanWay Fundraiser   
More than 116,000 Wisconsin families have been touched by Alzheimer's and dementia and many more people are providing care. Alzheimer's is not normal aging - it is a progressive and fatal disease and you can help address this escalating epidemic. 

AmericanWay is holding a Brat Sale fundraiser for the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin of Columbia County on Friday, August 23 from 10am to 5pm at the Walmart Supercenter, 2950 New Pinery Rd.  For more information, contact Stephanie at 608-566-1575.
   Scooter Brown Band   
Come to Ho-Chunk Gaming and hear the Scooter Brown Band on Saturday, August 17 at 7pm. One hundred percent of the ticket money will be used for local Service To Armed Forces Programs in Adams, Columbia, Juneau, Richland and Sauk counties. Tickets are only $15 per person and come with $10 of free play from Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells! For more information, call 608-232-5834. 
   Portage Theatres Summer Movie Series   
portage theaters logo The Portage Theatres is offering a summer morning family movie series. 'Disney's Chimpanzee' will be shown Aug. 6, 7, & 9  at 10am.  Another movie TBA is scheduled to be shown Aug. 13-15 at 10am.
Following dates will be announced in upcoming newsletters and found on the Chamber's event webpage.
   Elk's Softball Tournament   
Elks Softball Tournament is scheduled for Friday, August 30 through September 1 and features co-ed and men's softball teams at the Veteran's Memorial Park ball diamonds. Food and beverages are available on-site, no carry-ins allowed. Come cheer on your favorite team or meet a new favorite team. Contact Matt Russell at 608-617-5875.
   Kid's Aquathon & Silver Lake Triathlon   
The kid's aquathon is scheduled for Friday, August 16 at Silver Lake Beach and features a swim and run for children ages 5 to 12 years old. The Silver Lake Triathlon, a beginner-friendly event, is scheduled for Saturday, August 17. The race starts at beautiful Silver Lake and continues in the gently rolling countryside of Portage. Each participant will receive a t-shirt, goodie bag, and food. For more information, call Myrna at 608-742-4888 or visit
   Zona Gale Celebrates Friendship Village     
The 22nd Annual Zona Gale Celebrates Friendship Village: "A Celebration of Peace, Friendship and Community History" is scheduled for Saturday, August 17. 

At the Remembrance Site, Silver Lake Cemetery, Cemetery Road off West Wisconsin Street (Hwy. 16) (Bring your own seating and bug spray.)

9am-Noon at U.S. Post Office: The Zona Gale commemorative design will be hand-stamped on envelopes and cards brought in.
Noon-4pm at the Museum at the Portage, 804 MacFarlane Road Zona Gale home (1928-1938) listed on National Register of Historic Places, So­ciety Hill District - visit Zona Gale study, rose garden and museum exhibits
2pm-4pm at the Women's Civic League Clubhouse, 506 West Edgewater-Zona Gale home (1906-1928) listed on National Register of Historic Places. Free guided tours. Pie and ice cream on shaded lawn along Wisconsin River. 

Portage Public Library is the rain location for Saturday morning. For more information, contact Jeff Grothman at 608-742-2228 or 608-742-2946.

Community Events

   August Chamber Meeting & Event Dates   
7th   Ribbon Cutting for Gretchen Willis Photography       9am at Chamber office
8th   Business Luncheon with State Insurance Commissioner   11am at Dino's
13th    Business After 5 - Renewal Unlimited   5pm -7pm 
14th  Ribbon Cutting for Fire Dynamics     9am at Chamber office
23rd & 24th   Taste of Portage Market Fair
   Ribbon Cuttings  
northwoods bakery
A ribbon cutting was held at Northwoods Bakery & Sandwich Makery, N6510 Hwy 51 South, where they have a large selection of fresh baked breads, bars, sweet rolls, and other goodies daily. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are the best in town! Gourmet coffee, too! For more information, call
splash pad ribbon cuttingA ribbon cutting was held at the Splash Pad in Goodyear Park. A refuge for kids from summer heat, the pad is a nice addition to the community. Soon, the pad will be outfitted with shade posts and restrooms. The Splash Pad is open daily from 10am-8pm through Labor Day.
   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. 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