November 2013
Mural Project Update
Local artist Charles Bradley recently had his colorful painting depicting familiar Portage landmarks installed on the west side of the Portage Park & Recreation building on Silver Lake Drive. The eight- foot high by eight-foot wide collage is the second mural completed in the series known as the Portage Mural Project.   
The location is fitting given Bradley's commitment to the Community Garden, which the mural looks upon next door. Drop by the mural and see how many Portage trademarks you recognize. Thank you to Charles Bradley, Leslie Hawkinson, the Park & Rec Board, Shawn Murphy, Kim Standke, Phil Koch, Chuck Stanley and Portage Lumber Do-it Center. 
The next mural awaiting installation is to be located at Riley's Bar & Grill and will serve as tribute to Sgt. Daniel Thompson and the military. Also, the 2014 Portage High Senior Class has decided to paint a mural as their senior project. Stay tuned for updates regarding this exciting news!
If you are interested in the possibility of having your building as the location for a mural, options are being considered for next year. Please call Brad at the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
commbank april ad
2013-14 Youth Leadership  
The first session of the Portage Chamber's Youth Leadership got underway with lots of sweat during high energy ice-breaker exercise known as 'Pump n' Praise' in the Portage High gym on October 1. The second session, 'Volunteerism', was held on Wednesday, October 30. Students volunteered their time toward helping Open Arms Daycare, the Heritage House Assisted Living, Our House Senior Living, Portage Parks and Recreation, Downtown Portage, Inc., and the Community Garden by raking leaves, decorating cookies, tilling soil, cutting evergreens, and spending time with children and 
seniors. Students from Portage, Pardeeville and Cambria-Friesland are enrolled in the program and have done a great job while committing themselves to becoming great leaders.


The Youth Leadership program is designed to develop leadership in high school students who

have demonstrated potential by their involvement at school or in the community. Targeting juniors who are willing to make a commitment to attend six days of leadership topics, the program exists to create business opportunities, support civic involvement and promote an overall investment in the future of the community. The program is designed to provide 

opportunities for young professionals to develop the necessary skills to become effective leaders in our community. Business and education are coming 

together to create a healthy and productive community life. 


School officials nominate students in their junior year who have demonstrated leadership potential by their involvement at school or in the community.  We are looking for students who are on the cusp of leadership, but have not yet taken the step forward to be in a leadership role. We invite juniors to participate so that in their senior year, they will step forward using the tools they have acquired in the sessions, and become leaders in their schools after the program is completed.


The Chamber of Commerce is an excellent place for collaborative programs to be centered and the Portage Chamber, a strong supporter of education, continues its quest to provide leadership for building a healthy economy and high quality of life in the area we serve.

Welcome New Chamber Members

Henry Brown-Washington Management Institute
508 Prospect St.    Portage, WI  53901
Henry Brown at 608-697-4474
Management training.
Chamber Member Profile

Renewal Unlimited, Inc., is a private, nonprofit community service agency funded through grants and donations offering Head Start and Early Head Start for families with children age 0-5, Wisconsin Fresh/Start/AmeriCorps service-learning and education programs for at-risk youth, rental assistance, and home-buyer down payment assistance throughout Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Juneau and Sauk Counties.

In 1997, a group of Sauk County citizens formed Renewal Unlimited, Inc. with a desire to put the unemployed to work on much needed housing rehabilitation. The agency purchased houses in need of substantial renovation, and income eligible people with barriers to finding and keeping employment were employed and trained by Renewal to remodel their homes.

Today, Renewal Unlimited, Inc. focuses on improving the lives of families and individuals of all ages in our communities. Renewal serves low income community members who need assistance with strengthening their families, educating pre-school children, paying rent, or saving a down payment to purchase a home. Renewal also serves youth ages 17-24 by assisting with GED/HSED preparation and testing, contract employment and job and life skills training. In addition, Renewal offers parent training, play groups, field trips, toy lending libraries and resources, and also hosts the Family Festival and Community Baby Shower in Portage.

Renewal hopes to be viewed as a strong community resource where residents find information and assistance with educating and raising strong families, giving youth a 'fresh start' on educational and employment paths, and helping families avert homelessness. For more information, call Executive Director Suzanne Hoppe at 608-742-5329.

big bundle upThe Big Bundle Up

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is once again participating with other Chambers and tourism entities in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Big Bundle Up campaign.


The campaign will run from Monday, November 18 through January 3, 2014. The Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., will be a collection site for your warm winter item donations. A local charity will be the recipient of the items.


Stay tuned for the final statewide tally at the end of the campaign!


Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to and let us help spread the word about the great things your business or organization is doing. The deadline is the 20th of each month. 



madison college

All aboard for 'The Railroad in Portage'

Zona Gale writes about the 17 daily trains that went through Portage in 1828. Why did Portage develop as a transportation hub? Who were the people that were instrumental in its success?  What about all those nicknames? Learn all about 'The Railroad in Portage History' in this class taught by local instructor Judy Eulberg. 


More students are needed to sign up for this course, #37022, taught every Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm, November 12 through December 3, at Madison College, Portage Campus.


The cost is $41.56 or just $35 for Senior Citizens. Contact 608-745-3100 ext. 0 or

shelly cibulka ad sept 2013

Friendly reminders from the Mayor

Portage Mayor Bill Tierney has a couple reminders for the residents of our town:


1. Check your smoke detector batteries when you set your clocks back this weekend.

2. Check the condition of your American flag and replace it if worn or faded.

Thank you to Portage Printing for printing the following community holiday flyers that you will soon see posted around town.  We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming holiday events!!


teddy show november
President Theodore Roosevelt is Coming to Portage

The Women's Civic League of Portage invites you to see President Teddy Roosevelt as reprised by the nationally known reprisor, Joe Wiegand. Joe will present Teddy Roosevelt in a one-man show on Thursday, November 7 at the Portage High School at 7pm. 


Wiegand appears annually at the Medora Music Festival in North Dakota, has appeared at the White House for TR's 150 birthay, and most recently on the History Channel's "The Men Who Built America". Wiegand entertains audiences nationwide with his stories full of adventure, laughter and inspiration, including tales of the frail young boy who built his body and became a rancher, Rough Rider, father of six and our 16th President. From bear hunts to the Panama Canal, from Africa to the Amazons, T.R.'s delightful stories come to life.


Joe Wiegand, as Teddy Roosevelt, visited the Portage Rotary in February and will be here to entertain the entire community on November 7. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for veterans and students. They may be purchased from Civic League members and at the Portage Chamber of Commerce. He will also present two free performances for high school students and for residents of senior care facilities. For more information, visit or call 608-742-5757.

Portage as Birthplace of National Great Seal Day?

U.S. Congress designates Portage as official birthplace of National Great Seal Day? Really? Congress designated Waubeka, WI as birthplace of National Flag Day and the little town annually draws the eyes of the nation. My name is Henry Brown. I joined the PACC last week and feel privileged to have this opportunity to introduce myself. Over the last eight years I have been laying the foundation for Washington Management Institute (WMI), an online management training organization focused on optimizing personal productivity.


The key to optimum personal productivity is America's second official icon (the flag is the other); the nation's Great Seal (a near likeness displayed on the back of the dollar bill). Because of the Great Seal's significance as a symbol of productivity, WMI's first mission is to elevate the Great Seal by promoting National Great Seal Day. The Great Eagle, hailed by Civil War soldiers as Columbia's Bird, can be seen flying around Columbia's county seat atop my Jeep.


The history and people of Portage deserve the honor of being the birthplace of National Great Seal Day. I believe the ancient portage across the narrow savanna dividing the continent holds the reason our federal government is divided and at the same time contains the renaissance Portage has been looking for many years. 


Thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself and I look forward to our continuing relationship.

Be productive for God and Country,


Henry Brown, Founder & Pres.

Washington Management Institute llc  


Don rick web


Toys for Tots Campaign 
Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative is coordinating the Toys for Tots campaign for Columbia County. They will be distributing donation boxes to businesses during the week of November 4.  Pick up of the boxes will be the week of December 9. 
If your business would like to receive a Toys for Tots donation box, please call Allison Pendergast, Marketing Coordinator, at 608-339-5427 or email

Portage Fall Clean-Up

The City of Portage will again be collecting residential refuse consisting of large/bulky items on Saturday, November 2 from 8am to 4pm at the Municipal Garage, 616 Washington St. Elderly individuals and individuals having a disability may call for a pick-up on Friday, November 1, 2013. Charges apply on most items, cash or check only. View prices here

Upon arrival at the gate, residents shall provide proof of residency. An attendant will be present to assist with unloading. All items are to be placed in the dumpster provided for that purpose.

Call 608-742-2176 for more information. 

goodwill logo

Goodwill looking for Store Supervisor

Goodwill Industries is now hiring for a Store Supervisor (full-time, 40 hr/wk) to work at the Portage retail store. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to further develop their leadership skills. The person in this position will be responsible for opening and closing functions, cash management and daily audits, product handling and staff management. A working knowledge of retail operations, staff supervision and training, along with solid cashier/cash handling experience is required and the applicant must have the ability to lift up to 50 lbs. 


An ability to work a variety of shifts including days, evenings, and rotating weekends will be required. A valid driver's license with access to own transportation is also required. To be considered for a position, please fill out an application available on our website at, or at any Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin retail or donation center

About the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation

The Columbia County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is the corporation in Columbia County that brings business development, increased employment, increased taxes and economic development programs to the area. CCEDC staff writes grants and has received Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) from USDA. The program has leveraged over $2 million with gap funds from the RLFs.


Since 1995, the CCEDC, which hosts an annual Business Awards Banquet, has conducted Business Retention and Expansion Visits (BR&E) and visited approximately 600 businesses. The staff also routinely meets with entrepreneurs to discuss starting businesses, etc. CCEDC has written grants and applied for other funds for businesses, communities, CCEDC, revolving loan funds, a business incubator and other projects, for a total of $7,864,414.51.


The CCEDC mixes business with fun, too. With a grant from the Department of Tourism, CCEDC began the Columbia County Visitor's Bureau. More recently, CCEDC started the Columbia County Silent Sports Trail Committee (CCSSTC) to increase tourism revenue.


Many economic development entities partner with CCEDC to strengthen our region. For more information, please contact Nancy Elsing, CCEDC Executive Director, at 608-742-6161.


forever yours logo
Business After 5 at Forever Your's Jewelry 
November 12th   5pm - 7pm
Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five. With the holiday season approaching, necklaces, bracelets, and rings could make really great gifts. See a fine selection and network during this event at Forever Your's Jewelry, 123 W. Cook St.
Serious illness care and support survey
Get paid for your opinions about care for people who are struggling with the challenges of serious illnesses or have been diagnosed with six months or less to live. We invite you to share your thoughts on Wednesday, November 6 at AmericanWay University, 602 E. Albert St., Suite 2 in Portage. 

Light refreshments and a small stipend will be provided to participants. No sales are involved. If interested, please call 800-365-7359 to learn more and sign up to be a part of the discussion.
our house logoCalling vendors to Our House Senior Living Expo     
Calling all vendors: If your business caters to seniors or the burgeoning senior market is your market, mark your calendar for the second annual All Things Senior Expo to be held Thursday, November 7 at Ho-Chunk Casino. This event is being held in conjunction with Ho-Chunk Casino's weekly Senior Citizen Day. And once again the Casino will offer the $10 rewards play for attendees.

This event will feature exhibitors, wellness checks and break-out sessions. The day will be filled with a wide range of information about products, services, programs and resources for Sauk, Adams, Marquette and Columbia County's 50+ community. The All Things Senior Expo will provide a one-stop-shop for those looking to connect with valuable local resources.
The Senior Expo is an opportunity for you to market to the exploding senior demographic.

KSMS Our House Senior Living invites you to participate in this one day event and meet hundreds of local seniors. Magnum Communications will provide a live remote broadcast from the Expo. All Things Senior Expo will offer a great opportunity to meet potential customers. You will have the opportunity to: Generate highly qualified leads for your facility, service or product; Build recognition for your company or organization and increase your brand awareness; Network with other companies in the senior market. 

Sponsorships are available this year. We have a gold, sliver and bronze sponsorships and they start at $100. Please reserve your booth early using the registration form with check payable to KSMS Our House Senior Living and Mail to:
Attention: Gretchen Lambert KSMS Our House Senior Living 215 Northridge Drive Portage, Wisconsin 53901
If you have any questions please contact Gretchen Lambert at 608-697-2626.
Click Here for forms. 
November Community Events
Last month our community events page reached 5,000 viewers. Spread the word about your event by posting your events on our website!! 
2    Bushel Basket Bazaar at Portage United Methodist Church  10:30am
2    Red Hot Dixie at Portage Center for the Arts   7:30pm 
2    Portage Fall Clean Up  
4-Dec 31   Holiday Food Pantry Promotion at Pierce's Market Place
5    Chili & Chicken Supper at Trinity United Church of Christ   4:30pm to 7pm
7    Women's Civic League Presents President Teddy Roosevelt at Portage High               7pm 
7    Our House Living "All Things Senior Expo" at Ho-Chunk Casino
7-9 Partners of Divine Savior Holiday Sale
9    Portage Presbyterian Church Harvest Dinner 4:30pm to 7pm
12  Business After 5 - Forever Your's Jewelry   5pm to 7pm
14-Dec 24   PACT presents 'Rocky Horror Show'  at Portage Center for the Arts
15  Our House Senior Living Community Bingo  2pm to 4pm
29-30   Portage Theatres Free Kids Movie
29  Santa Fly-in at the Portage Airport   10am
29  Portage Presbyterian Church Chili Dump at Holiday Parade   5pm to 8pm
29  Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting   6pm
30  Small Business Saturday   
30  Santa's Living Reindeer at Commerce Plaza    11am to 2pm 

For more information about these events, click here.
November Chamber Meeting & Event Dates 
6th     Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank   8am
11th   Tickets available at Chamber office for Santa Breakfast at Culver's     9am
12th   Business After 5 at Forever Your's Jewelry   5pm-7pm
28th & 29th  Chamber office closed for Thanksgiving    
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at U.S. Cellular in celebration of their new location at 2850 New Pinery Road. With a focus on having the world's best customer service and delivering industry-leading innovations, their customers receive unique benefits such as a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty, and points can be used to upgrade to the latest 4G LTE devices faster as well as accessories and ringtones. For more information, call 608-745-4771.
A ribbon cutting was held at the Women's Civic League, 506 E. Edgewater St., to welcome this new member of the Chamber. The Women's Civic League of Portage sponsors the Teddy Roosevelt Show: Thursday, November 7 at 7 p.m. at Portage High School.
Tickets are available at the Portage Chamber of Commerce or through Civic League members and are priced $10 and an $8 special for Vets and students. 
For more information, call 608-742-7744.
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.
Find us on Facebook
Join Our Mailing List
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