June 2015
Portage advances in America's Best Communities competition

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce worked with city officials to complete the America's Best Communities grant application. The effort succeeded as Portage was selected as a quarter-finalist, netting the community $50,000 and the opportunity to compete for up to an additional $3 million. 


The grant program, sponsored by Frontier Communications, Dish Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, is designed to help the local economy and improve the quality of life. Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) issued the following joint statement congratulating the City of Portage:


"Portage is a vibrant, essential part of both of our districts. We have always known how special Portage is, and we are very proud of this great city's progress in the ABC competition. We know our city will be successful no matter what the results, but we very much look forward to the next stages of the competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for our community, and we're glad the rest of the nation has a chance to see what Portage has to offer."


Garbage Collection

As a Chamber of Commerce we continually strive to make you aware of concerns that can affect your business.  We want to let you know the City of Portage has approved an ordinance that will expand garbage collection to all commercial businesses that request service.

Attached is information that we received from the City Administrator Shawn Murphy that gives you an overview of the process as well as the ordinance (link below) and also a document (link below) that needs to be completed by June 1, 2015.

Commercial Garbage Ordinance
Commercial Garbage Survey

Sign ordinance

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce wants to make business owners aware of proposed changes to the current sign ordinance. Business owners and those interested in providing thoughts on the matter can attend a meeting scheduled for Monday, June 15 at City Hall, 115 W. Pleasant St. 


Click here for a link to a draft of the new sign ordinance.  Here is a link to the current sign ordinance:  

Sign up now for Chamber Golf Outing

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is holding its 33rd Annual Golf Outing on Wednesday, June 10. There is still time to get your foursome into this fun outing.


Spend a day away from the office and enjoy an afternoon at the Portage Country Club. If you would like to register your group, don't wait, call the Chamber office today at 608-742-6242.   


Among the top raffle prizes this year are 4 hours of fishing guide services for 2 people by Reel Good Guide Service courtesy of Klay Vehring - Edward Jones Financial Advisor guided fishing trip and a decorative metal fire pit ring, courtesy of Ken Ryczek of Fairway Mortgage.     


Thank you to our 2015 Golf Sponsors:


1. First Weber Realty
11. Dean Health Plan
2. Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home
12. AmericanWay University
3. Community Bank of Portage
13. Don-Rick Insurance
4. Forever Your's Jewelry
14. General Engineering
5. BMO Harris Bank
15. Trecek Automotive
6. H.G. Meigs/Meigs Trucking Inc.
16. Cascade Mountain
7. Frontier Communications
17. Zimmerman Plumbing
8. Rhyme
18.  Culver's Restaurant
9. Miller, Brussell, Ebben & Glaeske
19. Blau Family Chiropractic
10. Portage National Bank


Putting Green: Wal-Mart
Ball Sponsor: Frontier Communications
Pre-Game Sponsors: Cardinal FG & Divine Savior Healthcare
Cart Sponsor: AmericanWay
Trophy Sponsor: United Country Hamele Auction Realty
Dinner Sponsor: Ho-Chunk Casino

Welcome New Chamber Members 


McReath Orthodontics

2625 New Pinery Rd.  Portage, WI 53901

Dr. Timothy McReath at 608-742-4800

Offering orthodontic treatment for adults and adolescents which  

includes traditional or clear braces and Invisalign.


Fearing's Audio-Video-Security

722 Walsh Rd  Madison, WI  

Doug Fearing at (608) 443-2595 

Specializing in audio, video, and security design, sales, service, and installation.
Concert in the Park update
Join us for some great summer music at the Portage Concert in the Park Fourth of July Celebration on Friday, July 3. Bring your lawn chair to Pauquette Park (corner of  Hwy 33 and Pierce Street) and listen to the 132nd Arrmy Band and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Enjoy a cold treat of Culver's Custard and Pepsi products during the performances.

Donations are still needed to help cover the cost of the orchestra. If you can help, please call Marianne at the Chamber, 608-742-6242.


Current Schedule 
5pm - The 132nd Army Band Brass Ensemble performs
7:30pm - The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs
9:00pm - Madison Malone performs
9:30pm - Fireworks over the Wisconsin River
welcome home sew logo The Welcome Home Sew-N-Vac classes   

The Welcome Home Sew-N-Vac is located at 118 E. Cook St. in downtown Portage. For more information, call 608-566-1663.   

Coming Soon: These fun classes and events!
June 2    TWH Sewing Club with Diane
June 2    TWH Sewing Club with Diane
June 3     Spare Change Runner with Wanda
June 4   Thread Catcher & Pincushion w/Patti
June 6      Intro. To Zentangle with Tina
Click here for more June classes!

Portage Chamber June Meeting and Events 

2     Business Luncheon at 11:30am  at Pizza Hut

10    Golf Outing at Portage Country Club
18   Business Mixer at Costco for Portage Chamber members   5-7pm

 Click Here for pdf file.  

Citywide Garage Sales

The Portage Chamber will once again be posting local garage sales along with open times on our web event calendar page. The sales are scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, June 11-13 and there is no fee to have a residence hosting a sale to appear in the listing.  


We encourage you to have your sale posted by calling the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. Click here for a current listing of sales.   

Portage City Flea Market

Come to the Portage City Flea Market featuring crafts, produce, antiques, collectibles and so much more from 9am to 3pm on Saturday, June 13 at Veterans Memorial Field inside and near the Bidwell Building. Held in conjunction with the Portage Citywide Garage Sales, this event is indoor/outdoor so we'll be there rain or shine!   

Portage Area TRIAD Seniors and Law Enforcement Together Sale

Portage Area TRIAD and Law Enforcement Together are having a sale to raise funds to host senior education and safety events at Bidwell Building. Drop off date is Wednesday, June 10 from 8am to 4:30pm. Sale dates are June 11-12 from 8am to 4pm and June 13 from 8am until Noon. For donation information, call Portage Police Department at 608-742-2174 ask for Jerilyn. No clothing items please. 

Percolator now offers meeting room

The Caffeine Room is a conference room located inside The Percolator Coffee House, 224 W. Wisconsin St., that features a large conference table accommodating 8-10 people. A large SMART monitor on the wall can connect to your laptop with a cable or wireless to show a presentation or video.   


The room is available 6 six days a week Monday through Saturday from 6am to 10pm. During regular business hours of Monday-Friday from 6am to 4pm and Saturday from 7am to 4pm, the meeting room is free to reserve with a minimum beverage/food purchase of $10 per each hour the room is reserved. If you reserve the meeting room after our regular business hours, then there is a $35/per hour charge to cover for staffing the shop during off business hours.  


All reservations for The Caffeine Room can be made through our online reservation system at:

www.TheCaffeineRoom.com. View a sampling of beverage and lunch menu at: www.PortagePercolator.com and then click on menu.      


Dave Considine, Representative for 81st Assembly District and featured speaker at May's Business Luncheon, listened to Tom Udulutch (right) of Markent Personnel following the lunch meeting held at Pizza Ranch. 
June 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.


Our next luncheon features Detective Dan Garrigan who will be talking with us about protecting your identity and security, both in your business and personal life.


Date: Tuesday, June 2

Location: Pizza Hut, 401 E. Wisconsin St. 

Time: Lunch at 11:30am, presentation at Noon

Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant

Ribbon Cuttings

A ribbon cutting was held at Rural Mutual Insurance - Brad Damon Agency, N6522 Highway 51/16, to welcome this new business to Portage.


They look forward to helping you with all their insurance needs. For more information, call 608-742-4444. 



A ribbon cutting was held at I 39 Supply, N6100 Johnson Road, to welcome this new business to Portage.

They have great trailers, attachments, and wood furnaces at fair prices. "We use what we sell and we're your weekend warrior warehouse!"


For more information, call 608-742-6223.




A ribbon cutting was held at Willy's Weenie Wagon, 109 W. Wisconsin St., to welcome this new business to Portage. "Thank you Portage for the outstanding turn out you gave Willy's on Friday, May 15. Your enthusiasm for my food selection makes me feel special. All the support you have shown means the world to me. I will continue to do my best to provide quality food and service to the town of Portage. Enjoy and eat well."   

--Willy Czajkowski, owner



A ribbon cutting was held at Portage CrossFit Cooperative, 201 E. Albert St., to welcome this new business to Portage. The Portage CrossFit Cooperative is a member-run CrossFit box.  


Their goal is to create a community revolving around fitness. Contact them today at 608-345-7109 or visit portagecrossfitcooperative.com and they'll get you set up with an initial consultation. 


Open House: June 6, 9am-11am 






judy walking tour Downtown Walking Tours

The free one-hour Downtown Walking Tour guided by local historian Judy Eulberg is back this summer! Meet her at the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., at 10am on one of the following upcoming Saturdays:


Downtown Walking Tour Dates:   June 6     -     July 11     -     August 1


Mercantile marks 10 years
The Mercantile will celebrate its 10th anniversary in downtown Portage on Saturday, June 13. The celebration will begin at 10am and continue until 3pm and will include demonstrations of pottery, copper enameling, watercolor painting and weaving.


There will be sales and specials throughout the store and a drawing for a basket of gifts from many of the shops. And of course, there will be treats to celebrate all of the unique businesses that have made the Mercantile a downtown destination for 10 years.        


portage center for the arts

Happenings at Portage Center for the Arts 

For more information on these events and other performances, go to portagecenterforthearts.com.   

Art that Blooms- This is a wonderful event, free and open to the public featuring original artwork by area artists, along with fresh floral arrangements and poetry inspired by each individual work of art.  All this comes together for a two day, multi-sensory event the first weekend in June!

Opening reception Friday with a poetry reading at 6:30pm.
concert at the Portage
Concerts at the Portage
The Columbia County Visitor's Bureau proudly presents the seventh season of Concerts at the Portage. Bring your chairs and blankets to hear the summer sounds of music with your family, friends and neighbors featuring a different band each week. Bring your own picnic dinner or order carry-out from a local restaurant. Desserts will be served by local non-profit groups. 

The concerts are held at the park-like setting behind the Portage VFW Post #1707 located at 215 W. Collins St. behind Walgreen's. For more information, call the Columbia County Visitor's Bureau at 608-742-6161. 
Portage CrossFit Cooperative Open House
An Open House will be held at Portage CrossFit Cooperative, 201 E. Albert St., on Saturday, June 6 from 9am to 11am.  For more information, call 608-345-7109. 
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, $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.

FWSQ hiring seasonal tour guides

The Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters is looking for tour guides to open the museum, conduct tours of this historic site (school and log home), and to meet and greet visitors on a daily basis. Other duties include recording statistics of daily attendance, balancing the drawer, restocking shelves if necessary, light cleaning, and assisting with on site programming and activities.


Part time and full time work is available from 9am to 5pm, Wednesday-Sunday, May 30-31 through October 15. The wage is negotiable and the candidate can start immediately. Interested individuals can contact State Curator Karen Broman, WSDAR, at 414-745-8301 for more information or to apply. 

Summer Meals offered

There will be free summer meals served Monday through Thursday from June 8 until August 13 at the Portage Public Library, 253 W. Edgewater St. and at Goodyear Park, 1100 MacFarlane Rd.  


The meals are free to kids 18 and under and are based on USDA nutrition guidelines. No proof of income needed. The times the meals are offered are: at the library, 11am to 11:45am; and at Goodyear Park, 12:15 to 1pm. For more information, contact Shannon Schultz, Portage Public Library, at 608-742-4959, Pastor Dave Hankins, Portage Presbyterian Church, at 608-742-6006, and 

Karen Nelson, UW-Extension Columbia County, at 608-742-9684.


Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to [email protected] 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. 

June Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!
2    Chamber Business Luncheon
3    Concerts at the Portage
4    Portage Farmers Market
5    Zumba Party for Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation at Rusch Elementary
5    Euchre Card Party at Portage Presbyterian Church
5-7 Art that Blooms Exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
6    Downtown Walking Tour
7    Bingo at the VFW
7    Portage Elks Lodge Kids Fisheree at Pauquette Park 
8    American Legion Post #47 Annual Steak Fry at Knights of Columbus Hall
9-11 Portage Theatres 50cent Movies
10  Chamber Golf Outing
10  Concerts at the Portage
11   Portage Farmers Market
11-13   Portage Citywide Garage Sales
11-13   Portage Area TRIAD and Law Enforcement Together Rummage Sale at Bidwell Building
12-14   'Nunsense, Amen!' at Northwoods Banquet Hall
13  Portage City Flea Market at Fairgrounds
13   The Mercantile celebrates 10-year anniversary
14   Flag Day Luncheon At Historic Indian Agency House
14   Flag Day Celebration at Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters
14   Flag Day Ceremony with tribute to WWII Veterans at Portage Elks Lodge #675
16-18 Portage Theatres 50cent Movies
17   Concerts at the Portage
18   Portage Farmers Market
19-21   'Nunsense, Amen!' at Northwoods Banquet Hall
20  Moo Day Brunch
20 Columbia County K9 Unit Golf Fundraiser
21   Bingo at the VFW
23-25 Portage Theatres 50cent Movies
24   Concerts at the Portage
25   Portage Farmers Market
26-28   Children's Theatre Workshop Performances
26-27   American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Portage High School Track
27   Golf Outing Fundraiser for the United Way at Portage Country Club
29   Portage Sharing Supper at Rusch Elementary
30   Portage Theatres 50cent Movies
For more information about these and other events, go to www.portagewi.com. 

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.
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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 [email protected].