NEWSBREAK   December 2015 
Portage Chamber Executive Director Marianne Hanson presented Sharon and Dennis Trecek of Trecek Automotive with the First Impression Award at last year's Chamber Awards Banquet. 
Chamber Annual Awards Banquet 
With a brand new year upon us soon, it's time to recognize businesses and individuals for outstanding contributions. We invite you to join us at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet and be part of the Business Event of the Year.
This year's banquet will be held at the The Ball Room, 112 E. Cook St., on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The featured speaker will be Kurt Bauer, President/CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). Kurt will be talking with us about the State of the Wisconsin Business Climate.
Network and get to know your fellow Chamber members while we recognize some of the activities of exceptional businesses and people whose service or performance positively contributes to the quality of life in the Portage community. This year we will be recognizing nominees in seven categories: Business Excellence Award (20 or more employees); Rising Business Star Award; Community Service Award; Educator Commitment Award; First Impression Award; Tourism Award; and the Susan Weyh Business Excellence Award (less than 20 employees).
The Chamber board renamed the latter Business Excellence Award in memory of Susan Weyh, former Chamber board member and past president who passed away in February 2015.    

Please nominate a business or person(s) you feel deserves some recognition for their dedication to the Portage Community by completing and returning the nomination form to our office. Click here for a form. From all the applications submitted, a finalist in each category will be selected and awards given out.

We are also selling tickets for a chance to win a cruise for two (value $1000) courtesy of Free Spirit Travel. Tickets are one for $10 or three for $20 available at the Portage Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St. The drawing will be held during the awards banquet.

Note: Founded in 1911, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is the state's chamber of commerce and largest business trade association representing more than 3,700 employers of every size and from every sector of the economy.

Holiday Shopping Giveaway 
The Portage Holiday Shopping Giveaway contest is underway! Bring your sales receipts from participating businesses to the Portage Chamber office and receive chances to win three prize drawings for Portage Green Gift Certificates! The contest runs through 4pm on December 18.

Please click here for our Shopping Giveaway page where participating businesses and winners of the drawings are listed! For more information, please call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
snowflake-cookies.jpgCookie Walk
The Cookie Walk adds delicious fun, mixed with a bit of exercise, to the holiday season in Portage! The annual Cookie Walk will be held on Saturday, December 5 from 9am to Noon. Walkers can collect cookies from 24 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.
For more information, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.  
girl-lights.jpg Holiday Lights Decorating Contest
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 Portage Green Gift Certificate. Winners will be announced the week of Christmas. You can check out the light displays; we'll have the addresses of entrants posted on our webpage. 
  • Judging based on the creative design, use of lighting and accents.
  • Judging will take place on the evenings of December 14-19. Please have your lights on. Judges decision is final.
  • Judging is based on curbside appeal only for homes and both inside ad outside for the businesses.
Click here for an official Holiday Lights Decorating Contest entry form.
Holiday Train coming Saturday
Every year, the Canadian Pacific Rail Holiday Train travels through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks. This year, the train arrives at the Portage Amtrak station, 400 W. Oneida St., on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1:20pm. 

You're encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank -- either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay local. Starting at Noon the Portage Rotary will be hosting a Brat and Hot Dog Feed (while supplies last). Make sure to come early and join in the fun!
Welcome New Chamber Members 
UW-Small Business Development Center
975 University Ave., Grainger Hall #3260  Madison, WI 53706
Kevin Kaufman at 608-265-3052
Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Madison is part of a statewide network supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, professional, confidential consulting and targeted educational programs.
Business Profile - Sheri's Jewelry and Glass  
Wanting to see we could accomplish a list of things we always wanted to do, but were never able to until now, my husband Ralph and I, Sheri Padula, crossed an item off our list by starting Sheri's Jewelry and Glass on Thanksgiving Day in 2014.
We have expanded since that time and have fine-tuned our inventory from one store featuring just hand-blown glass items into two Esty stores: Sheri's Home Creations, with garden decorations plus customized & personalized seasonal items; and Sheri's Jewelry N Glass, with jewelry and hand-blown glass collectibles.
We are a family-owned and operated business with myself as the creator of the artisan-made jewelry, personalized keepsakes and custom seasonal home decor. Ralph takes care of the shipping and inventory control, my mother, Mona Stauss of Baraboo, takes care of stocking and order filling, and our daughters and granddaughter fill in where needed and supply plenty of creative inspiration.
I like creating personalized things for people. I like to think my jewelry has personality, that it speaks to you and your personality. My items are fun, high quality and one of a kind--not mass produced, cookie cutter creations. They are uniquely hand made by me. Therefore, I hand pick my supplies and am inspired to create something that fits your personality.
My typical clients come from the craft shows I attend as well as those who like to shop online. Yes, we are an Internet-based store, however, if you are in Columbia, Dane and Sauk counties looking for something specific, I would be happy set up a personal appointment.
I love to be the creative outlet for the busy person who likes beautiful and one of a kind things. Currently supporting this business while working another job full-time, our goal is to only run this company. We have now lived in Portage for four years and love our little town, wanting to sponsor the Portage Sharing Supper at some point in Spring of 2016, and other community events.

For more information about our products, please call 608-729-0569 or click here

Looking for a Hot Deal? See our list!   

Check out our Hot Deals webpage for deals our Chamber members are offering. Have a Hot Deal of your own you want others to know about? Post your deals on our webpage and join the Hot Deal brigade! There is no charge for posting a Hot Deal, so post away!  If you have questions, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to get started.

Click here to see the specials that are currently running!
portage curling club

Save the Date  

Save the date for the Sue Weyh Memorial Bonspiel on February 6 & 7, 2016 at the Portage Curling Club, 107 W. Albert St. 

For more information, call 608-742-3237.
golf5.jpg Coldwater Canyon membership specials
Coldwater Canyon Golf Course at Chula Vista is hosting a member appreciation cocktail party at The Tavern Restaurant on Tuesday, December 2 from 6pm to 10pm (Cocktails at 6pm, dinner at 6:30pm).

Join us for a complimentary dinner for members who have paid or are going to pay their 2016 membership fee in full by December 2, 2015. Cost for non-members is $15.
Watch the Bucks game in our bar area at 7:30 p.m. and learn about our new additional
discounts for members.

RSVP with Jason at 608-253-0699 or email [email protected]
Help the Humane Society
The Columbia County Humane Society needs your help. 
CCHS is a private, nonprofit organization that exists primarily on donated funds. All contributions are tax-deductible.
Monetary donations can be mailed to the Animal Shelter, N7768 Industrial Road, Portage, WI 53901.

Looking to donate items to CCHS? A few items they need:
Laundry detergent (high-efficiency for front-loading machines),
garbage bags, dish soap, bleach, and clay cat litter (non-scoopable). Click here for a list of more items.

For more info, please call 608-742-3666.

Bridal Pond fountain update 

Funding for a new fountain at Pauquette Park is past the halfway point, nearing $5000 with a recent donation in memory of Kathy Mantey from Mel & Maureen Bindl, Ron & Debbie Dorn, Josh Vehring, George & Nancy Beasley and a fountain donation from Dennis Dorn. 


Combined with previous donations from Pat Halasz, Just Me - Monique Warnke, Jerry & Claudette Braun, Charlie Mantey, the employees of Don-Rick Insurance, BMO Harris Bank, plus a matching donation from the Portage Service Club Association.


The Portage Chamber thanks the individuals and businesses for their generous support. Members of the Service Club Association are Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, Optimists and Chamber. The Portage Parks & Recreation Department offered installation and maintenance.     


Contributions can be sent payable to the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce (memo: fountain) and mailed to 104 W. Cook St., Portage, WI 53901. Call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242 for info. 

Ribbon Cuttings 
A ribbon cutting was held at the Portage Chamber office for Sheri's Jewelry & Glass to celebrate this new business in Portage.

Sheri's offers artisan jewelry, seasonal decorations, and customized home decor. For more information, call 608-729-0569.
Visual Arts Scholarship available
The Portage Center for the Arts wants to let you know there is a scholarship made possible by a generous gift from Eleanor Drury. The VA Scholarship is dedicated to a visual arts student pursuing an art degree or equivalent after high school. 

Currently enrolled college students and high school seniors from the greater Portage area are eligible and encouraged to apply for this scholarship. An application is required. The deadline is April 15, 2016.
Portage Mayor Bill Tierney presented a proclamation from the City of Portage to the volunteer physicians of the free clinic in commemoration of their five-year anniversary of serving our community.

At right, the husband and wife team of Dr. Paul Slavik and clinic founder Dr. Kathleen Doyle, pose with the mayor (middle). Located in the basement of Wilz Drug, 140 E. Cook St., the clinic is open Wednesdays from 9am to Noon. 
River Haven homeless shelter needs your help
As a non-profit organization, River Haven's priority need is financial donations and the shelter supplies are consistently needed. If you would like to donate, please contact the shelter office at 608-742-7687.

Casserole dishes, dish towels, can opener, Tupperware, dishes, cups  
Bathroom:  Wash cloths, bath towels, hand towels, toilet paper, bath mats, shower curtains
Bedrooms: Sheets (twin/full), digital alarm clock, night lights, metal shelves, laundry hampers, large box fans
Baby Items: Diapers (any size), formula, blankets
Office Supplies: Envelopes, pens/tape, copy paper
House Supplies: Laundry soap, hand soap, plastic wrap, large garbage bags, storage tubs, sandwich/freezer bags, shaving cream, storage bags, light bulbs
Personal Items: Tooth paste, disposable razors, feminine products, band aids, body lotion, nail clippers
Miscellaneous: Games for children, book bags, lunch bags, plastic 10 & 18 gallon storage tubs, bleach, cleaning supplies (toilet bowl , etc.)
Large Items: Lamps, furniture
Christmas Worship schedule 
Our Chamber member faith communities have many activities and services going on during the Christmas season. Click on the links below to find out more information:

Portage Presbyterian Church         
our house logo
Our House Senior Living now hiring; offering classes and food drive
Come to work with friends and make a difference. We have openings for full time, part time and casual on all shifts. Applicants should enjoy caring for and giving support to the elderly.
Interested candidates should email resume to [email protected]

State approved DHS.83 training is now offered on Medication Administration ($160), Standard Precautions($70), Fire Safety($90), and First Aid ($105). Complete all four classes through "Our House, Your Future" and receive instant savings of $20. For more information, please contact Amy Richards at 608-513-7668. 

Please donate non-expired, non-perishable, microwaveable food items for the elderly and disabled
through December 11. The ADRC drivers will deliver the items to Columbia County Home Delivered Meals participants to have as a back-up meal.

Our House Senior Living is located at 215 Northridge Drive in Portage. For more information, call 608-745-0331. 
Portage Chamber December Meeting and Events 
2    Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank    8am
4    Holiday Shopping Giveaway Drawing  4pm
5    Cookie Walk   9am-Noon
8    Business After 5 at CESA 5     5pm-7pm
11  Holiday Shopping Giveaway Drawing  4pm
12  Breakfast with Santa at Culver's    7:45am & 8:45am
18  Holiday Shopping Giveaway Drawing  4pm
24-25  Chamber office closed for Christmas
31   Chamber office closed for New Year's Eve
Wisconsin River Title has moved 
Wisconsin River Title Consultants has now moved to its new location at 101 Hiawatha St.
Their phone number remains 608-742-3316.  
WI river title consultants
Karate America - Portage welcomes Pederson 
My name is Nate Pederson and I am the owner and chief instructor for Karate America Waunakee and Karate America Portage, 2211 W. Wisconsin St., where we offer a variety of essential life skills such as focus, self-discipline, respect, responsibility and much more.

Our classes are designed to help your child develop the skills needed to excel in today's environment. We teach our students how to handle bullies and protect themselves against strangers. We provide a fun learning environment where kids learn martial arts and make new friends while developing self-confidence. Karate America also offers birthday parties for up to 20 kids. We will handle everything for your party, no set up or clean up, just show up and have fun!!
Self-defense is one of the most important aspects of the martial arts. We offer corporate self-defense seminars, small group self-defense seminars, and self-defense seminars for women and teens. The seminars teach the importance of awareness and how to protect yourself in today's dangerous environment.
Classes are forming now so call us today and include Karate America as part of your child's education. Mention this article and receive our "special introductory offer" which includes one
month of karate and a uniform for $19.95!!

For more information, call 608-212-4935 or visit
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.

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. 

December Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website!
1     Advent Study Opportunities at Portage Presbyterian Church
3     Chair Yoga at the Portage Public Library
3     Love Light at Divine Savior Healthcare
5     Pet Photos at Tractor Supply
5     Cookie Walk
5     Holiday House at Portage Presbyterian Church
5     Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Arrives
6     Pancake Breakfast for River Haven Homeless Shelter
6     Gale Singers Christmas Concert at Portage Center for the Arts
8     Business After 5 at CESA 5
8     Advent Study Opportunities at Portage Presbyterian Church
10   Chair Yoga at the Portage Public Library
12   Photos with your Pet at Columbia County Humane Society
12   Kiddie Christmas at Historic Indian Agency House
12-13   Elvis Presley/Patsy Cline and Friends Christmas Show at Northwoods Banquet Hall
12   Breakfast with Santa at Culvers
12   Living Windows
13   Portage Presbyterian Church Christmas Caroling Party
15   Advent Study Opportunities at Portage Presbyterian Church
17   Holiday Get Together - Our House Senior Living
18   Our House Senior Living Community Bingo
19   Portage Theatres Free Kid's Movie
19   A Blue Christmas Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
20   Christmas Worship 'In A Barn' at Portage Presbyterian Church
24   Holiday Gathering at Our House Senior Living
24   Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
25   Christmas Day Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
25   Christmas Day Dinner at Portage Presbyterian Church
25   Our House Senior Living Christmas Dinner
28   Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartels Middle School
31   New Year's Service at Portage Presbyterian Church

For more information about these and other events, go to 

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].