December 2014
The beginning of December brings in more of our great holiday traditions including Culver's Breakfast with Santa, Citywide Cookie Walk, Living Windows, and more.

As an incentive to shop our local businesses during this holiday season, the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Downtown Portage Inc., and the Business Improvement District, are rolling out the Portage Holiday Shopping Cash Giveaway contest to encourage shopping at participating businesses between now and December 20, 2014.

Shoppers can bring their receipts from purchases made at the following participating businesses now through the drawing at noon on December 20, 2014 to the Chamber office:

Suzy's Steak & Seafood House
Dino's Restaurant    
Kari L. Tracey - American Family 
Anytime Fitness
Pierce's Market Place
Pizza Hut
Eye-Deal Eyewear LLC
Red Apple Family Restaurant
Head 2 Toe Salon
The Mercantile
Nona's Tailoring & Tuxes
BJ's TV & Appliance Center
Smart Woman
Studio K Hair Design
Fancy Pants
Tractor Supply Company
Super 8 of Portage
DW Sports Center
Wilz Drug
Best Western 
Prairie Flower Beads
The Ball Room
Aspirations Salon & Day Spa
Portage Cleaners
Portage Furniture Store
Design 1 Apparel
Pizza Ranch of Portage
Verlo Mattress of Portage   
Walsh's ACE Hardware
Mary Kay Consultant Debbie Holland
Weaver Auto Parts of Portage
Soul Shine Spa
Portage Lumber Do-it Best
Portage Center for the Arts
Schultz Small Engine
Big Dog Saloon
Free Spirit Travel
Forever Your's Jewelry
The Flower Company
The Welcome Home Sew-N-Vac

Sheila Link Agency - American Family

For every $10 spent, shoppers receive a chance to win one of two $100 drawings or a grand prize drawing of $500. Contest rules and dates of the drawings are posted on a special webpage promoting the event.

Also, don't forget about our Portage Green Gift Certificates! They make great gifts for bosses, employees and those who are hard to shop for. Plus they help keep money local. They come in denominations of $5, $10 and $25. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 and we can have them ready for you to pick up at the front desk. 

Citywide Cookie Walk

The Cookie Walk adds delicious fun, mixed with a tiny bit of exercise, to the holiday season in Portage! The annual Cookie Walk will be held on Saturday, December 6 from 9am to Noon. Walkers can collect cookies from 19 Chamber member businesses this year.


How the walk works: People can come to the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., and purchase a cookie box for only $5. The box includes a map featuring the participating businesses with specials they may be offering. 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 their Holiday Open House from 10am to 1pm and sample an assortment of food and deli trays, holiday baked goods from their scratch bakery and other holiday favorites.


For more information, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. 

santa with scoopie
Culver's Santa Breakfast tickets available now

Families can enjoy a great breakfast, with children spending some quality time on Santa's lap, during the 7th Annual Culver's Breakfast with Santa.

The required tickets are limited for this event scheduled for Saturday, December 13 with two breakfast times, 8am & 9am, available at Culver's Restaurant, 2733 New Pinery Rd. Get your ticket at the Portage Chamber, 104 W. Cook St.


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, once again!


For more information about these or other community events, please call 608-742-6242 or visit 

Holiday Lights Decorating Contest  

Let there be lights! Decorate your Portage residence or business in holiday lights and you could win $100 in Portage Green Gift Certificates. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce wants to recognize the hard work and efforts that you put into enhancing your home and business for the holiday season. We are looking for the most festive outdoor holiday decorations. Decorate with lights, incorporate music and just have fun!


One home and one business winner will be selected. Each will receive a $100 in Portage Green. Winners will be announced the week of Christmas so the community can check out the light displays and pictures posted at our website at


Judging will take place on the evenings of December 16-21 and will be based on creative design, use of lighting and accents, and curbside appeal only. Please have your lights on. Judges decision is final.

Open to participants with a Portage post office address. To enter, click here and fill out the registration form, then return to: Portage Area Chamber of Commerce 104 West Cook Street, STE A Portage, WI 53901. Or call 608-742-6242 or email

Welcome New Chamber Members 


Soul Shine Spa 
228 W. Wisconsin St., Portage
Christina Stensrud at 608-697-5520
We offer relaxing manicures, pedicures, massage
therapy and facials in a quiet atmosphere.

Restaino & Associates Realtors
2425 New Pinery Rd., Suite 101
Melissa Kirk at 608-742-7777
We are committed to making home buying and selling process smooth and stress-free as possible, always striving to get you the best price for your property.
Veterans Day
With the powerful sight of empty place settings at the POW-MIA remembrance table at the forefront--one seat each representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard--the 10th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Portage High School was a moving tribute from beginning to end, with many poignant moments in between.

Thank you to Ed Carlson and others who helped organize this wonderful ceremony for the past ten years. Thank you to the students of Portage High for their integral role in the ceremony and their reverence throughout. And Thank You Veterans!
Business Profile - Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Remedy Intelligent Staffing is a locally owned franchise for a national provider of strategic staffing solutions. Our team has more than 60 years of recruiting and selection expertise. Remedy Intelligent Staffing is a full-service recruiting firm providing temporary, temporary to hire, and direct hire services in the following fields: Light Industrial, Clerical & Administrative, Finance & Accounting, IT & IS Engineering, Call Center & Customer Service, Warehousing & Logistics, and Skilled Trades.


Remedy Intelligent Staffing is owned and operated by Jim Holwerda. Jim, a Randolph native, started his career as a Recruiter in January 2000 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jim then took promotional opportunities in the roles of Account Executive, Branch Manager, Area Director, and Regional Director managing 10 locations and over 30 recruiters and sales staff. In September 2008 he opened the Westaff franchise in Madison, WI. Having experienced tremendous growth in the first year of operation, he then purchased the Remedy Intelligent Staffing franchise in April 2009. This momentum continued and in December 2009 Remedy opened its second location in Portage. In 2010 Remedy opened offices in Beaver Dam, LaCrosse and Stevens Point. Since 2010 the growth has continued to include offices in Fond du Lac and most recently Wausau. The Remedy Intelligent Staffing team separates itself from its competition by consisting of specialized recruiters to focus on their respective industries. This positions Remedy Intelligent Staffing as a "full service" provider. Remedy's clientele varies from locally owned companies, Fortune 100 companies, and includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as the State of Wisconsin.


Our business operates on the premise of; Work hard, treat people right, and the rest will come. We are committed to this in our partnership with clients, employees, and the community.


In Portage the Remedy Intelligent Staffing office is operated by a team of three people. Jeff Darrow has been working in the staffing industry since 2004, working a variety of roles within the industry Jeff has worked with candidates and clients in a five county area around Portage. Jeff started with Remedy in October 2009. Brittany Schluter, has been with the company for two and a half years as a recruiter working directly with job seekers and assisting with account management. Michelle Crary started in the summer of 2014 as a recruiter and brings with her industry experience along with account management.


For more information, contact Remedy Intelligent Staffing, 104 West Cook Street, Suite 103, at


Portage Chamber December Meeting and Events 

3    Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank of Portage   8am

3    Ribbon Cutting at Soul Shine Spa    9am

5    Holiday Shopping Cash Giveaway Drawing  Noon at Chamber office 

6    Citywide Cookie Walk

8    Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train    1:30pm

9    Business After 5 at Wilz Drug & Portage Furniture Store   5pm-7pm 

12  Ribbon Cutting at Dunkin' Donuts   9am

12  Holiday Shopping Cash Giveaway Drawing  Noon at Chamber office

13  Culver's Breakfast with Santa

20  Holiday Shopping Cash Giveaway Drawing  Noon at Chamber office

24-26  Chamber office closed for Christmas holiday

31-Jan. 2   Chamber office closed for New Year's holiday

Business After 5
Our next Business After 5 event will be held at Wilz Drug, 140 E. Cook St., and Portage Furniture Store, 126 E. Cook St., on Tuesday, December 9 from 5pm to 7pm. Join fellow members for conversation and refreshments. Remember to bring some business cards to pass around.
For the Holidays: 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, $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.
shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
Ribbon Cuttings 

A ribbon cutting was held at Pampered Pals By Kayla, 1303 Wauona Trail, to welcome a new business to the Portage business community.

Treat your pet to a full service grooming including shampoo, haircut, manicure, and more!

For more information, call 608-742-4713.

A ribbon cutting was held at Karate America, 2211 W. Wisconsin St., to welcome a new business to the Portage business community. 

Plumer Karate America teaches karate, self defense and cardio kickboxing. Our students range from age 3 to 63. We also do daily floor chats on respect, focus and self discipline.

You can get started for as little as $29.95! Plumer Karate America, building self confidence since 1984! 

For more information, call 608-594-4800 or visit

A ribbon cutting was held at Dragon Breath Vapor, N6522 US Hwy 51 South, STE A5, to welcome a new business to the Portage business community. Dragon Breath Vapor is an eCigarette seller, owned by a group of Vapers, who quit smoking by taking up vaping.

They sell the best starter kits, have the lowest prices, and mix their own high quality juice. 

For more information, call 608-403-3169. 


Divine Savior Healthcare CEO Mike Decker addressed a large crowd gathered at the construction site, where a groundbreaking ceremony took place moments later, marking the beginning stages of the DSH facilities' major expansion.

More operating room space and a Wellness Center, complete with gym, lap pool and track, are highlights of the project, scheduled to be finished roughly a year from now.

We look forward to seeing the progress at the site in the coming months. For more information about the project, visit

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

3      Kiddie Christmas at Historic Indian Agency House
4      24th Annual Love Light Celebration at Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare
5-7   The Santaland Diaries at Northwoods
6      Citywide Cookie Walk
6      Holiday Open House at Pierce's Market Place
6      Wisconsin Army National Guard Open House
6      Holiday House at Portage Presbyterian Church
7      Gale Singers 'Christmas 'Round the World!' Winter Concert
7      "Blue Christmas" Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church 
8      Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
13     "The Big Show" with Mitch Henck
13    Breakfast with Santa at Culver's
13    Historic Living Windows
14    Caroling Party at Portage Presbyterian Church
20    Matt Kearney Show at Ho-Chunk - Wisconsin Dells
21    Youth Program and Christmas in a Barn Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
24    Christmas Eve Candlelight Serve at Portage Presbyterian Church
25    Christmas Morning Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
25    Christmas Day Dinner at Portage Presbyterian Church
31    New Year's Eve Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
31    New Year's Eve Ski Party at Cascade Mountain
For more information about these and other events, go to 
summit credit union

Summit announces nearly $1.5 million dividend

Summit Credit Union recently announced approval by its Board of Directors to award patronage dividends through an annual program called Cash Boomerang, which will make its first payments to more than 30,000 members this year.


"Sharing in the success of the credit union is fundamental to cooperative principles," said Kim Sponem, CEO and president at Summit Credit Union. "Cash Boomerang is one way we thank our members for choosing Summit as their financial partner."


Individual Cash Boomerang payments vary based on the amount of money each member has saved and borrowed with Summit, as well as the overall success of the credit union between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. In total, Summit Credit Union will pay nearly $1.5 million to participating members through Cash Boomerang this year. To learn more about Cash Boomerang, please visit For more information, visit www.summitcreditunion.comor call 608-243-5000 or 1-800-236-5560.

Soul Shine Spa offers Massage Holiday Package
For those looking for a gift for someone, or maybe a little treat for themselves, can go to Soul Shine Spa, 228 W. Wisconsin St. (the former Body Concepts location). 
Choose to purchase one of several great massage package options:

  • 3  half-hour massages available for $99 (savings of $21) 
  • A petite facial, a half-hour massage and a pedicure for $108 (savings of $15)
  • 3 petite facials for $115 (savings of $20)  

For more information, call Christina Stensrud at 608-697-5520.

Rhyme acquires Markent Imaging

Rhyme has a 128-year history and tradition of growing in Wisconsin by acquiring other local Wisconsin businesses with similar values and desires to support our communities. That tradition continues with the recent acquisition of Markent Imaging, a Kyocera Copystar Dealership and a division of Markent Personnel, a recruiting company located in downtown Portage.

Rhyme, which has experience and knowledge selling and servicing the Kyocera Copystar brand, looks forward to offering Markent customers additional products and services without any loss of customer service. Markent Imaging customers should now call Rhyme at 800-362-4333 or visit to place a service call, order toner, or request more information about our products and services and how we can help you. 


As a Sharp dealer for over 30 years, Rhyme has grown to one of the largest in the country. Rhyme is also a leading provider of Lexmark, Kyocera Copystar, HP and RISO products. To learn more about the history of Rhyme visit and click "About Us" and then "Our History" to watch the YouTube video!


Don rick web


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. 

portage center for the arts

Call for Artists!

Kids' Drawing Contest - PCA needs your help!  Draw or color a holiday or winter scene and enter it in our Drawing Contest.  All entries must be returned to PCA by Friday, December 5.  Entries will not be returned.  Winner will be chosen by the Visual Arts Committee and will be used by PCA as a post card.  $25 prize!!!  Pick up an entry form at the office, or download one today.

Gale Singers Community Choir - Christmas 'Round the World, directed by Michelle Pare!  Performance is Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 4pm.  $6 at the door-general admission seating.

Deck the Halls! - Local musicians Mike and Jen Powers, Mike and Chris Hurd, Prairie Ensemble, and The Flannels will be supplying even more

Music for the Holidays on Sunday, December 14 at 4pm in PCA's Zona Gale Theatre. General admission tickets can be purchased at the PCA office, online, or at the door. $15 Adults  |  $5 Students.  All proceeds benefit visual and performing arts programming at Portage Center for the Arts!


Visual Arts Scholarship - Dedicated to a visual arts student pursuing an art degree or equivalent after high school, PCA's scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from Eleanor Drury. High school seniors or currently enrolled college students from the greater Portage area are eligible to apply. An

application is required. The deadline is February 28.

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.

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