October 2014

Fall is already upon us and as October begins students are in full stride immersed in their studies, preparing themselves for their future careers. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is working with the Portage High School and the Columbia County Area Manufacturer's Council to hold a Career Fair at Portage High School gymnasium highlighting manufacturing, industry and business on Wednesday, October 22. Our target audience is students in grades 8 through 11. 


The goal of the Career Fair is to highlight the variety of the great career opportunities in our businesses and inform the students of the skills and education needed for each career. Students will be exposed to possible careers within your business and how they can prepare themselves for particular careers after High School, including the importance of soft skills such as arriving on time and dressing appropriately for a job. 


Currently we have Portage, Lodi, Pardeeville, Westfield and Cambria-Friesland Schools that will be participating. Just a few of the participating businesses and organizations include Madison College, Portage Fire Department, Divine Savior Healthcare, Cardinal FG, Grande Cheese Company, General Engineering Company, 4 City Safety Council, Summit Credit Union and Encapsys.  


If you are interested in attending, please contact Marianne at the Chamber Office at 608-742-6242.

Welcome New Chamber Members 


Costco Wholesale 
2850 Hoepker Road, Sun Prairie 53590
Dora Swafford at 608-825-4020
A membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members
the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. 


Business After 5
Our next Business After 5 event will be held at Women's Civic League, 506 W. Edgewater St., on Tuesday, October 14 from 5pm to 7pm. Join fellow members for conversation and refreshments. Remember to bring some business cards to pass around.


Don rick web


Portage Chamber Business Luncheon 

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to network with your fellow Chamber members and make those important connections that can help you in your business or career. Bring your business cards, brochures, or anything you wish to share with other members.


Join us on Tuesday, October 21, to hear the 4 City Safety Council talk about how they can help your business with safety in the workplace, safety training, regulation concerns, OSHA certified training. The council assists businesses within our four county area to reduce injuries and work related illness and provides safety training and a forum for members to share ideas and network.


Lunch is scheduled for 11:30am with the presentation at noon at Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Road. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to register.

October Chamber Events 

14  Business After 5 at Women's Civic League  5pm-7pm

15  Ribbon Cutting at Seubert Family Dentistry  1:15pm

21  Business Luncheon featuring 4 City Safety Council

21  81st District State Assembly Forum at Public Library 6:30pm 

22  Career Fair Portage High School

Ribbon Cuttings 

A ribbon cutting was held at the Chamber office to welcome Droptine Designs to the Portage business community. 

A design agency specializing in web, print and advertising, Droptine Designs guides small businesses with creative ideas, cost-effective solutions and with passion. 

For more information, call 608-469-5332.






A ribbon cutting was held to welcome Tim Kratz, his wife Michelle and daughters Anna and Sydni as the new residents and soon to be owners of Picha Funeral Home.


Tim has been a funeral director for 20 years. He and his family have moved from Blair, WI, where Tim has worked for the last 18 years. Tim and Michelle have been married for 14 years and are excited to become part of the Portage community.  

For more information, call Picha Funeral Home, 302 E. Conant St., at 608-742-5585.  

October Business Profile
          Forward Service Corporation

Forward Service Corporation is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2014. A non-profit employment and training organization, we help lower income Wisconsinites develop the skills that today's employers are looking for. We are proud to provide services under W-2 (Wisconsin Works) in Portage and Columbia County that are connecting people with jobs. We also provide services under other programs throughout Wisconsin.


This is only half the story, though. When it comes to Forward Service Corporation, we want people to see the passion that we bring to our jobs every day. We want to help every customer find gainful employment and become self-sufficient. We want to help every employer find the right worker to stay competitive. Two of our chief core values are respect and collaboration - and that is something we strive to do with our customers, with local companies, and with our community partners. As the economy continues to improve, we know that skilled, motivated workers are going to be worth their weight in gold and we want to supply them to local businesses so they can be successful too.


For more information, call Forward Service Corporation, 2875 Village Road, at 608-742-2992.

ds healthcare

CNA Career Fair at Divine Savior Healthcare

Come join us to learn about exciting Certified Nursing Assistant careers in Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare during our CNA Career Fair on Tuesday, October 7 from 1pm to 5pm. Tivoli, located at 2805 Hunter's Trail in Portage, is Divine Savior Healthcare's state of the art residential facility. We currently have full time, part time and casual openings in both Tivoli Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living.


Potential employees will have the opportunity to tour our facility, meet hiring supervisors, fill out applications, and receive interviews. This will be a great time to see our beautiful facility, and learn about what Divine Savior Healthcare has to offer to you!


There will also be a drawing for a Kindle Fire, and snacks will be available. This opportunity is for current CNAs, and for people that are thinking about becoming CNAs.

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Gratz at 608-745-5189 or kgratz@dshealthcare.com. Also, feel free to apply in advance at www.dshealthcare.com.

  red-wine-pouring.jpg2nd Annual Fine Vine Wine Walk
Sample a red and white wine at more than 20 locations throughout the downtown during the 2nd Annual Fine Vine Wine Walk on Friday, October 24 from 6pm to 9pm. While you sip and taste great wines, enjoy the music at some of the locations during this rain or shine event.

Tickets are $25 per person (must be 21 or older) and are available at 205 Vino, 205 DeWitt St.; Prairie Flower Beads, 210 W. Cook St.; and Smart Woman, 120 W. Cook St.  The event is sponsored by Downtown Portage, Inc.  For more information, contact Tricia Pionke at 608-566-5730.
75th Anniversary of the Acquisition of Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters event
Built by Francis and Therese LeRoi circa 1820, the historic site of Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters has been owned by Wisconson Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. A celebration marking 75 years will be held on Sunday, October 5 from 1pm to 5pm.

The event gets underway with an opening ceremony from 1pm to 1:30pm followed by dedication remarks at 1:30pm. A time capsule dedication begins at 1:45pm with food, music, tours and activities taking place from 2pm to 5pm. The event caps off with a closing ceremony at 5pm.   
portage community schools

Partners in Education Program 

Portage High School students are utilizing a new partnership between the school and an area university to get a head start on college credits, and their successes are paying off. PHS has partnered with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater through the Partners in Education (PIE) program in two courses, English 101 and Political Science 141. Last year, 16 students in English 101 and 25 students in Political Science 141 received three college credits each, the entire student enrollment for those two classes. This year, 13 students are enrolled in English 101, and 17 students are enrolled in Political Science 141.

District Administrator Charles Poches said the PIE program gives students another way to get a head start on their college experience at a much more economical cost than the same course would be at the college level.


"Post-secondary education costs continue to rise, and we want to make sure we are providing opportunities for our students to be proactive in reducing those expenses for themselves and their families," Poches said. "I'm proud that we are able to provide a variety of opportunities for students to move ahead. It's a tremendous opportunity that is finding success at PHS." 

Bill Gill, who teaches Political Science 141, said the course offerings are a crucial element to preparing students for life after high school.


"It's important for our schools to do everything in our power to prepare the students for the next levels of their lives.  The PIE program is one element necessary to achieve this goal for those students headed for a four year post -secondary experience," Gill said.  "The opportunity to interact with college level expectations and assignments allows the students to begin transitioning from the safe structured environment of high school to one that depends on more self-reliance, and personal responsibility."


Even though PHS students are younger than their college counterparts, their results do not reflect it. Students tested averaged a full point higher than those enrolled at UW-W, Gill said.


For more information about the PIE program, please contact District Administrator Charles Poches at 742-4879 or Principal Robin Kvalo at 742-8545.



October Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!

1-20  10th Annual Coats of Many Colors Coat Drive Collection
2     Silk Scarf Painting at The Mercantile
3     Euchre Card Party at Portage Presbyterian Church
3     Opening Reception at Drury Gallery
4     Walk for Hope benefiting Prevent Suicide Columbia County
4     River Haven Benefit Pulled Pork Dinner at Portage United Methodist Church
5     Anniversary Dedication Ceremony at Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters 
5     Bingo at the VFW
7     Photography Interest Group
7     CNA Career Fair at Divine Savior Healthcare
7     Health Benefits & Wellness Fair at Columbia Correctional Institution
11   Portage FFA Alumni Harvest Breakfast
11   Fire Department & Police Department Open House
11   Halloween Jewelry Class at The Mercantile
14   Business After 5 at Women's Civic League
16   Handbuilt Pottery Class at The Mercantile
18   Harvest Gathering End of Season Celebration & Fundraiser at Indian Agency House
18   Hotdogs & Hamburgers a Comedy Tour at 205 Vino
19   Breakfast at the KC Hall to benefit River Haven Homeless Shelter
19   Bingo at the VFW
21   Chamber Business Luncheon
21   81st District Assembly Candidate Forum at the Library
22   Ladies Night at 205 Vino, sponsored by HealthSource
22   Career Fair at Portage High School
23   Brown Bag Lunch Series at Portage Center for the Arts
23   Something Special from Wisconsin at Pierce's Market Place
23   Lorie Line and her Fab 5 Intimate Evening Series at Portage Center for the Arts
24-25   Coats of Many Colors Coat Drive Distribution
24   Fine Vine Wine Walk
25   Halloween at the Portage Theatres
25   Mascaraed Ball at Northwoods to Benefit River Haven Homeless Shelter
26   Senior Safe Night Out
30   Textures in Watercolor Class at The Mercantile
30   Last Portage Farmers Market for 2014
31   Citywide Trick or Treating 4pm -7pm   

For more information about these and other events, go to www.portagewi.com.

Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to graphics@portagewi.com 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. 


pierces logo Something Special from Wisconsin event at Pierce's

Celebrate Wisconsin as you sample products from over 40 vendors of Something Special from Wisconsin at Pierce's Market Place, 2915 New Pinery Road, on Thursday, October 23 from 4pm to 7pm. Vendors that will be on hand include Deans, Schoep's, Emil's, Wollersheim, Palermo's and more!


Bucky Badger will greet fans and Mayor Tierney will be serving cake starting at 4pm. There will be  

FREE Gift Bags for the first 200 attending filled with all sorts of goodies!! Sign up to win great prizes, too. For more information, call Pierce's at 608-742-2386. 


Volunteer at River Haven Homeless Shelter 
River Haven Homeless Shelter is looking for volunteers to support and encourage families in their journey to find jobs and housing. Life gets busy, but consider taking a few hours per month to help.  You can make a difference in someone's life.  Contact Cindy at 608-742-7687 for additional information.

River Haven Benefit Pulled Pork Dinner

Portage United Methodist Church, 1804 New Pinery Road, is hosting a night of good food and family friendly musical entertainment. A wonderful pulled pork meal, complete with coleslaw, and fabulous music, will be served up from 5pm to 7pm on Saturday, October 4.


Proceeds will go toward River Haven for their general budget and to help keep their vital community work going strong. Free admission for entertainment; $9 for pulled pork dinner with all the trimmings. For more information, call Portage United Methodist Church at 608-742-2107 or visit


Breakfast at the KC Hall to benefit River Haven Homeless Shelter

Enjoy breakfast at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 918 Silver Lake Drive, on Sunday, October 19 from 7am to 11am. $6 per person. Call 608-742-7687 to purchase tickets.


River Haven Mascaraed Ball at Northwoods

Enjoy a Lasagna dinner at 6pm with cocktails prior at 5:30pm on Saturday, October 25 at Northwoods, Inc., N6510 US Highway 51. Tickets are $20 in advance and music will be provided by Bob Viking. Call 608-742-7687 to purchase tickets.

81st Assembly Forum scheduled; public asked to submit questions  

Portage Public Library will be the site of an 81st District State Assembly forum featuring Democratic Candidate Dave Considine and Republican Candidate Ashton Kirsch on Tuesday, October 21 at 6:30pm.

The Portage Chamber is inviting the public to submit questions to be asked of the candidates for the forum. Questions must be submitted to the Portage Chamber by Wednesday, October 15. (Please note: Questions that are submitted do not guarantee to be asked at the forum.)

Heritage Groups in the Portage Area class

What led the Ho-Chunk, French, English, Irish, Germans, and other ethnic groups to settle in Portage?  How have they changed the land between the rivers?


Find out in this class taught by instructor Judy Eulberg at the Madison College, Portage Campus

Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm, October 7 through October 28. The class is just $47 (Seniors $35). Call Madison College - Portage, 330 W. Collins St., at 608-745-3100 and request the class Heritage Groups in the Portage Area  #35367. 


new agency house

Harvest Gathering End-of-Season Celebration & Fundraiser

Help us celebrate our 82nd year of sharing Wisconsin's history with the world at the Historic Indian Agency House. Enjoy live musical entertainment, craft beer, cider and goodies, silent auction packages and General Store.  


The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 18 from 4pm to 7pm with all proceeds benefiting continued museum operations and educational programming. $15 general admission and $12 members. Reservations appreciated, but not required. For more information, call Destinee Udelhoven at 608-742-6362.

Ladies Night at 205 Vino

HealthSource is having a ladies only night out with participating vendors, food, beverages and prizes. This is a perfect opportunity to leave your worries behind, bring your friends and associate with other women in our local area.


The event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22 from 5pm to 7pm at 205 Vino, 205 DeWitt St. in downtown Portage. For more information, contact Jessica Noble at 608-742-2225.


coat-drive-man.jpg 10th Annual Coats of Many Colors Coat Drive 

The annual coat drive is underway and is accepting gently used and clean winter coats infant to adult, especially for kids sizes 5-12 (workable buttons, zippers and snaps, please), and boots of all sizes. Drop off items at Portage Churches, Portage Police Department, or Portage Cleaners from October 1 through October 20. 


Distribution of coats happens on Friday, October 24 from 2pm to 6pm and Saturday, October 25 from 9am to 1pm at 118 W. Cook St. (former HoopLa bulding). For more information contact Nancy Schaper at 608-742-7242.


Euchre Card Party - Portage Presbyterian Church

Join us for a fun night with friends and a great game of cards on Friday, October 3 at Portage Presbyterian Church, 120 W. Pleasant St. The luncheon is scheduled for 6pm with cards beginning at 6:30pm. The cost is $5 for food, cards and prizes. The church is located at 120 West Pleasant Street and a donation to the Food Pantry would be appreciated. The event is a benefit to support the Yakutat Presbyterian Church in Yakutat, Alaska.

shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
Mercantile offering Fall Art Classes
Head on over to The Mercantile at 117 W. Cook Street in Portage to sign up for your fall art classes! Silk Scarf Painting by Peg Napralla will be taught on Thursday, October 2 at 6pm. Participants will learn how to paint on silk and will be provided  materials to paint two scarves using two different methods. Scarves will be taken home the same evening. Make one for you and one for a gift!  Fee of $45 includes all your materials. Adults only. Space is limited to 8 students. Call 608-745-5768 to register.

Handbuilt Pottery by Liz Gregorywill be taught on Thursday, October 16 from 6pm to 9pm. Participants will learn to design and hand build a piece of pottery. The pieces will be fired and glazed and the finished pieces can be picked up at the Mercantile at a later date. Fee is $45. Adults only. Space is limited to 5 students. Call the Mercantile to register: 608-745-5768.

Textures in Watercolor by Kathleen Jahn will be taught on Thursday, October 30 from 6pm to 9pm. Participants will learn how to create texture within your paintings. All levels welcome. Materials are provided. The fee is $40, or $30 if you bring your own paints, paper, etc. Adults only.  Limit of 8 students. Call the Mercantile to register: 608-745-5768.

portage center for the arts

Opening Reception 

Join us in the Drury Gallery this Friday, October 3 from 4pm to 6pm for the Opening Reception of Judy Simon K Monroe's exhibit Lace Curtains, Country Roads, featuring paintings inspired by rural family life. Judy has earned ribbons and awards in acrylic, oils, watercolor, graphite, pastels and ink. Reception is free and open the public! Stop on by for refreshments, music, friends, and a chance to meet the artist.


Wisconsin Wind Orchestra
As the resident professional ensemble of Carroll University, the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra "Goes Wilder" at PCA's Zona Gale Theatre on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 7:30pm, as they celebrate Alec Wilder, one of the genuine, genius mavericks of 20th-century American music!

Reserved Seating:  $15 Adults / $5 Students. Call the PCA office today at 608-742-5655 to reserve your tickets!  Online ticketing available soon!  Or consider getting your Season Tickets today and see a full year's worth of concerts for just $70 adults/$25 students.  Get a sneak peak of this season's shows 

Photography Interest Group
Meet with fellow photographers at the Historic Indian Agency House the first Tuesday of each month from 11:30 to 1pm to share photos and tips, explore new ideas, and inspire creativity.  The Interest Group is also sponsoring a Photo Scavenger Hunt through Fall 2014--join at any time!  You could be the winner of prize for first to finish or best quality!  Please call Fred Baewer with questions: 608-742-4691.

PCA Brown Bag Lunch Series
Add a splash of color to your lunch! Local Portage author, traveler, and mountain climber
Paul Huebner presents slides and discussion of his book "Hanging Up the Rope" complete with a book signing. Bring your lunch and invite a friend for this Brown Bag Lunch Series on Thursday, October 23 at noon.

Organizing an event or having a sale?

Submit your event or sale to us and have it appear on the Chamber website calendar of events.You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your submission will take a while to appear as the Chamber office first reviews the submissions before approving them to appear on the web calendar. For more information, please call our office 608-742-6242.

Give Portage Green Gift Certificates As A Gift
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5, $10 and $25 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 graphics@portagewi.com.