December 2013
WCO String Quartet performs at Portage High School
Elegant sounds filled the Portage High Auditorium on November 19 as the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra String Quartet performed a free concert for our community. 
More than 100 people, including WCO conductor Andrew Sewell, took in the free performance, a generous gift from the orchestra.

Lively works of Strauss and Dvořák were among the songs played in the hour-long set.   

The full orchestra is planned to come back to Portage as part of the annual Concert in the Park during the City's Independence Celebration, scheduled for Saturday, June 28 of next year.    
Give Portage Green Gift Certificates As A Gift 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.


Don rick web


Cookie Walk & Santa Breakfast coming up
The Cookie Walk and Culver's Breakfast with Santa are two Chamber events adding to the fun holiday festivities in Portage in December. The annual Cookie Walk will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 9am to Noon. More than 20 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 their special offers). The cost of the box is only $5. Fill up the boxes with cookies as you visit each location. We ask participants to limit themselves to one cookie per box per location.

Santa will be at Pierce's Market Place during the walk, too! Check out the Holiday Deli and Bakery Items with 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 at Pierce's Open House event from 10am to 2pm.

Culver's Breakfast with Santa will be held on Saturday, December 14 at 8am & 9am at Culver's Restaurant, 2733 New Pinery Rd. Tickets are required and limited 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 community events, please call 608-742-6242 or visit 
Welcome New Chamber Members

Red Apple Family Restaurant
1152 E. Wisconsin St.  Portage, WI 53901
Nik Ibrami at 608-745-9000
A new restaurant in Portage offering you great homecooked meals.
Chamber Member Profile


Edward Jones was founded by Edward D. Jones Sr. in 1922 on the founding principles that his company will treat associates as partners in the business and treat clients fairly by offering appropriate, quality investments. Ed Steck opened a Portage office in 1982 with Klay Vehring joining him in 2010. Today, Klay continues to help individuals achieve their serious, long-term financial goals by understanding their needs and implementing tailored solutions.


Working with anyone who wants to have a financial plan, from saving for college expenses to planning for retirement, and everything in between, Klay enjoys the ability to connect with clients on a personal level and help them achieve their long term goals and financial freedom to enjoy their retirement.


While the Edward Jones business model has held as a branch office maintained by one financial advisor and office administrator, a holistic approach to investing and wealth management sets them apart. People receive a complete complimentary financial review in the early stages of meeting to help determine what their goals are and what to focus on to achieve those goals.


One Stop Shop! Clients are encouraged to use Edward Jones for all their financial needs:
from planning college expenses for their children or grandchildren with 529
accounts or custodial accounts, using their Edward Jones credit card, writing checks

from their Edward Jones checking account, balancing their 401(k) portfolio at their work

and even establishing IRA's for their retirement. With so much to offer its clients, people should think of Edward Jones first when they think about wealth management.


Klay also is very involved in the Portage community as current President Elect for Kiwanis, Library Board Member, Knights of Columbus Member, Portage Service Club Association Member, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, and a member of the new Downtown Portage, Inc. organization.


For more information, call Klay Vehring at Edward Jones, 214 W. Wisconsin St., at


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 through January 3, 2014. The Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., is 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!


GEC Donates to St. Mary School and Education Center Renovation
Pictured in photo: Jessica Fandrich, GEC; Father Gary Krahenbuhl; Jamie Hahn, St. Mary Principal; Jerry Foellmi, GEC President; Addie Tamboli, GEC; and Rob Roth, GEC Vice President.
General Engineering Company staff members presented the St. Mary School and Education Center with a check for over $4,000 on Tuesday, October 29. This amount was for the cost of inspection services, by GEC, for the recent renovation project at the school. The inspection services included HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and general construction inspections.
General Engineering Company also donated $3,600 of grant and funding services to help the school obtain additional funding for the renovations. St. Mary's and GEC is proud to announce that the school recently received a $30,000 grant from the Apostolate to the Handicapped, which is a ministry of the Diocese of Madison, with its office in Monroe, WI. This grant will be used to make the school more accessible to students and adults with physical limitations.



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. 


commbank april ad
Get out and enjoy winter at the HIAH grounds!
The Historic Indian Agency House invites the public to explore the Historic Indian Agency House Nature Trail by cross-country skis or snowshoes during our Snow Shoe Days. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, you must stop by the Visitor's Center to sign in before you hit the trail. (This will help us keep track of visitation and help ensure your safety!)
Tentative dates include the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of January, February and March 2014. Hours are 9am to 3pm, with event dates dependant upon weather and snow cover. Call 608-742-6362 OR email to make reservations for your family, Scout troop, or yourself TODAY! (Also makes for a great date!)  
Due to the generosity of the Great Circle Foundation, HIAH has acquired several sets of beginner's snow shoes--in a range of sizes (including adult, young adult, and children's, ranging from a weight limit of 25 to 250 pounds). Borrowing will be treated on a first-come, first-serve basis--but we will do the best we can to accommodate you!
Snow Shoe Borrowers must report to our Visitor's Center (20 minutes before your reservation time is suggested) for check-in, and for a brief tutorial before heading out.
This opportunity is FREE--whether you utilize our snow shoes or have your own.
Thank you to Portage Printing for printing the following community holiday flyers that you have see posted around town.  We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming holiday events!!


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

shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
December Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!! 
1 Holiday Food Pantry Promotion at Pierce's Market Place now through Dec. 31
4 Historic Indian Agency House Kiddie Christmas 4pm 
5 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train at Amtrak depot at 1:15pm
5 Love Light Celebration at Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare from 4:30-7pm
5 Spirit of Life-Supporting the Hospice Journey presented by Home Health United at Wilderness   
   Resort, Dells 5:30-8pm
7 Cookie Walk  9am-Noon
7 Holiday Open House at Pierce's Market Place 10am to 2pm
7 Holiday House at Portage Presbyterian Church 10:30 to 1pm
7 Home Health United and Picha Funeral Home Memorial Service 11am
8 Splash Pad Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast at KC Hall 7am to 11am
8 Gale Singers Holiday Concert at Portage Center for the Arts 4pm 
10 Business After 5 at CESA 5
13 Historic Living Windows from 6pm-8pm
14 Breakfast with Santa at Culvers   8am and 9am
14 Chili supper to benefit Portage Skateboard Park Foundation at VFW Hall from 4pm-8pm
20 Our House Senior Living Community Bingo from 2pm
25 Christmas Day Dinner at Portage Presbyterian Church from 12pm 

For more information about these events, click here.
December Chamber Meeting & Event Dates 

4th  Ambassador Meeting      Community Bank   8am
4th  Ribbon Cutting    Dixie Law Enforcement Warehouse  9am
7th Cookie Walk
10th  Business After 5  at CESA 5       5pm-7pm
14th Breakfast with Santa at Culver's
18th Youth Leadership Program at Cardinal Glass

24th- 25th Chamber office closed for Christmas
31st-Jan1st Chamber Office closed for New Year's Holiday

Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at the Chamber office for Bulgrin's Butcher Block Mobile Meat Market.
Featuring restaurant quality butterknife steaks, king kong shrimp, giant prawns, jumbo crab legs, fish, chicken and pork chops and more. Stop and shop at the truck or free delivery to home or business. 

For more information, call 608-566-3911.

A ribbon cutting was held at the Red Apple Restaurant, 1152 E. Wisconsin St., to welcome this new business to Portage.
Open seven days a week offering delicious daily specials and great customer service.
For more information, call 608-745-9000.
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