NEWS BREAK August 2016
Building Facade Improvements
The America's Best Communities (ABC) grant award that Portage received as a quarter-finalist has supported some nice programs and projects in our community. 

The latest product of the ABC grant award, a matching loans funds program, now exists for the purpose of upgrading and improving the exterior front, side and rear facades of existing privately owned businesses.The loan program will facilitate completions of many smaller scale exterior improvement projects. 

Funding for this program was made possible through the City of Portage and Portage Area Chamber of Commerce's participation in the America's Best Communities competition, sponsored by Frontier Communications.

Taste of Portage preview
The tastiest weekend of the year is almost here! Start making room for tasty samples of menu items served up by our local restaurants and non-profit organizations at the 25th Annual Taste of Portage Market Fair on August 26 & 27.
With food as the main celebration of this event, it is only natural that for this 25th installment we would welcome the Wisconsin Spudmobile during Saturday's festivities. This mobile education and entertainment center is focused on potato and vegetable production and features eight exhibits with interactive technologies. 

This year's event also includes traditional features of past Taste events: craft vendors along DeWitt St., car show along Cook St., camel rides and a petting zoo featuring barnyard animals, kid's activities, Summer Sidewalk Sales & more. Here is a complete schedule of events:
Friday, August 26 at Market Square
Food Court/Beer Tent 5pm-10pm
Music by Best Practice 6pm-10pm  

Saturday, August 27
at Market Square
Food Court/Beer Tent from 10am to 5pm
Music by Universal Sound Band at 10am 
Music by Late 4 Dinner at 2pm 
Kids Tractor Pedal Pull at 1pm
Kidville (in front of Wilz Drug) from 11am to 3pm
  Art & Craft Creation plus Lochlan the Magician 
Portage Rotary Raffle Drawings
Appearance by Wisconsin Spudmobile
in Downtown
Sidewalk Sales 
Craft Vendors on DeWitt St. at 10am
Car & Truck Show on Cook St. 10am
Camel Rides & Petting Zoo from 10am to 3pm 
Music by Dixie Sizzlers from 11am to 2pm
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking donations to help cover the cost of this event. Please call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Thank You Sponsors!
Business Improvement District
City of Portage Tourism                                     
Don-Rick Insurance 
American Transmission Company
Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home
Wilz Drug
Johnson Chiropractic
HG Meigs
Blau Family Chiropractic
Wisconsin River Title Consultants
Community Bank of Portage
Frontier Communications
Miller, Brussell, Ebben and Glaeske, LLC
New Life Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

Concert in the Park
Perhaps this was the year of the most beautiful day in the 24 year history of the Concert in the Park Fireworks Celebration. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, featuring the elegant voices of sopranos Kitt Foss and her daughter Alli Foss, performed their 'Bursts of Joy' program on the edge of Bridal Pond surrounded by the lush canopy of the Pauquette Park trees. 

This year's event will be remembered for some notable side notes. The orchestra kicked off its concert by encouraging those gathered to wish Happy Birthday to Judge Howard Latton, who turned 100 years of age a couple months prior. The new Bridal Pond fountain, installed earlier that week, pumped some energy into the crowd when the debut of its LED lights illuminating brilliant red, white and blue hues (of course!) were officially unveiled following the fireworks. And, in an overtly tangible sign the future is here, a drone commissioned by the Chamber hovered over the event, video graphing the proceedings from the skies above. The footage will be used in upcoming marketing efforts. View our brief video of the event here.

Thank you to the businesses, individuals and organizations that have supported this event. The Portage Chamber is proud to help keep this quality community event going and we look forward to the 25th anniversary next year!

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.

Business Luncheon Information:
Getting Started with Video Marketing Today with Don Stanley of 3RhinoMedia
Experts estimate that nearly 60 percent of all content consumed on the Web in 2016 will be video content. Are you ready to leverage this powerful marketing tool? This info-packed workshop will highlight video marketing styles and platforms, show you how to overcome the biggest barriers to video marketing, and explain how to use video to better connect with consumers. We'll even help you plan and shoot your own short marketing video.

Speaker: Don Stanley of 3RhinoMedia
Where: Portage Pizza Ranch   
When:  Tuesday, August 9    Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant
2016 Edsel Convention
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce was happy to welcome the International Edsel Club Convention to our community last month. Thank you to the businesses who welcomed our visitors with discounts and special offers during their stay. 

Thank you also to Matt McLaughlin and Harv Woebbeking for organizing this terrific event and choosing Portage to be the host of your rolling works of art.
Welcome New Members

Portage Seventh-Day Adventist Church
2100 E. State Road 33    Portage, WI  53901
Illona Minett at 608-742-4695
The Portage Seventh-Day Adventist Church is part of a world-wide organization with more than 15 million members in countries around the world.  
Business Profile - Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area  (HFHWRA) is a non-profit, affordable housing agency that  builds and repairs homes in the Sauk, Columbia, and (as of 2016) Iowa county area.   HFHWRA is a locally controlled and run affiliate under the umbrella of Habitat for Humanity, Int'l (HFHI).
HFHI started in 1976 in Georgia as an ecumenical, Christian housing agency dedicated to fighting poverty housing around the world.  The foundation ideals were simple:  Everyone deserves simple, decent, safe shelter.  People should put in "sweat equity" to receive that shelter, and then pay back a no-interest mortgage where their mortgage payments help build homes for additional families.  Community members are encouraged to pitch in and help with the construction of the home, which keeps costs down but also gives good-hearted people a way to pull together to create positive change in the area.
Since the inception of HFHI in 1976, a total of over 800,000 homes have been built by Habitat for Humanity in 80 countries around the world.  In the USA, over 130,000 homes have been built -  with over 2000 of those homes being in Wisconsin. 
HFHWRA began in the 1980's by building  in Iowa county, and then in 2001 affiliates started in Sauk and Columbia counties.  In 2016 these affiliates merged to become Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area.  In total, over 50 homes have been built in the Iowa, Sauk, and Columbia county area - helping over 50 families get out of poverty through home ownership.
To help raise money for construction, HFHWRA now operates two retail ReStores - one in Baraboo, and one in Portage.  ReStores sell gently used and even new building supplies and home improvement items, with the profits supporting our housing work. HFHWRA relies on volunteers at our ReStores, and on our build sites. Join us! Build homes, and hope, in our area!
Eleanor W. Chiquoine, Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area, Inc (formally HFH Sauk-Columbia Area!)
1211 8th Street  - PO Box 38
Baraboo, WI  53913
Office: 608-448-2888

madison college
Madison College Open House
The Portage Campus of Madison Area Technical College will be hosting an open house from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday, August 10.

The event will include campus tours, classroom technology demonstrations and information about student services.
Learn about programs, meet staff, students & instructors & tour the campus. Their mascot WOLFIE will be there too!!

Sandwiches will be provided from 4pm to 5:30pm. The campus is located at 330 W. Colins St. 
Call 608-745-3100 ext. 0 for more information.
summit credit union Summit Credit Union named in Top 200
DepositAccounts has just released the 2016 edition of its Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in America. Summit Credit Union made the list for the second straight year, one of only 64 credit unions to do so out of the 6,003 total federally insured credit unions!

A more detailed breakdown of Summit Credit Union's A+ health score, including a new Top 200 badge, may be found in the health section of its dedicated bank page here.
The Portage Food Pantry has now moved to
405 East Howard Street.
The Portage Lions Club is asking for your help to Stuff the Bus!  They will be collecting school supplies for local children to help get them ready and excited for the new school year.  Collections will take place at the Walmart parking lot:
August 5, 11, & 19 all from 4pm to 7pm
August 20 from Noon-4pm
For more information, call Heather Smith at 608-697-5195.
Have something to sell?
Members are now able to post items they have for sale through our Chamber website on our Market Space page. Consider it a 'Craigslist' for Chamber members. There is no cost to list items that may fall outside of, but could also include, the realm of the usual type of products and services offered by a member. For example: A printing business may post an office desk it no longer has a need for. 
If you are interested in posting items you are looking to giveaway or sell, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. View our Market Space page here.

Kiwanis Ride to Read Fundraiser 
Please join Portage Kiwanis Club in their Metric Century "Ride to Read" fundraiser on Saturday, August 13, pedaling through scenic Amish country with 4 routes available. The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to purchase and distribute children's books. 

Includes continental breakfast, refreshment stops in route, detailed route map, complimentary gift and SAG wagon if needed. Carefully marked and mapped routes on low traffic roads through Columbia, Marquette and Green Lake Counties. Four route options of 15, 30, 45 and 62 miles (metric century) travel through scenic and historic Amish countryside.

Start Location is Veteran's Memorial Field (Fairgrounds), 300 Superior St., For more information, call Margaret Rudolph, Kiwanis President, at 608-697-3390. 
Cruisin' for Critters benefitting Columbia County Humane Society
Sunday, August 14
Cruisin for Critters is a fun event for motorcycle/car enthusiasts!  Ride starts at Johnson Sales on Hwy 51 and ends after a fun ride at Angell Park in Sun Prairie where there will be a lunch and raffles.  Early payment includes a shirt or hat for driver.  Cost: $25/driver-$10/passenger.  Bring non-perishable food items and receive raffle tickets.  Entry fee includes lunch and a door prize ticket.  Additional shirts can be purchased online.  93% of the proceeds benefit: the Dane County and Columbia County Humane Societies and the Poynette, Arlington, Dekorra food pantry. Registration is open! Register today. 

portage center for the arts
Madison Malone's Farewell Show 
Madison Malone will be having a "Farewell Show" on Saturday, August 6 at 7pm before leaving for Los Angeles.  A quarter of all proceeds will benefit the Portage Center for the Arts (PCA). Opening acts will be Sarah Lou Richards out of Nashville & Cambria native Kari Arnett who now performs out of Minneapolis.  

Seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling  608-742-5655.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the show. There will be a meet & greet after the performance, with albums & merchandise for sale!
Madison will be covering songs ranging from the Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, Taylor Swift to Adele and Coldplay. She will also do a song or two from her role as Maria in "The Sound of Music" or a Disney tune. She is most excited about interacting with the audience and explaining the stories behind some of her original songs. Malone was voted the Madison Area Music Awards 2016 POP/R&B  Performer of the Year with the 2016 POP/R&B Album of the Year.

Pokemon GO 
Free chance to have fun with the new Pokemon GO app.  
U.S. Cellular will be offering the community a chance to enjoy 4 hours of free "lures" downtown on the corner of Hwy 33 and Hwy 16.  US Cellular will be supplying the "lures" for this event from 3pm-7pm for anyone in the area to participate in.  

judy walking tourLast chance to take Downtown Walking Tour 
Local historian Judy Eulberg will once again be leading historic guided downtown walking tours this summer, the last one scheduled for 2016. We are excited to greet the next wave of visitors who take the tour. 

The informative one-hour tours are free to the public and leave from the Portage Chamber office at 104 W. Cook St. at 10am on the following Saturday:
Saturday, August 6 at 10am 

Ribbon Cuttings & Anniversaries 

A ribbon cutting was held at Miracle-Ear, 120 Henry Drive, to welcome this new business to our community. 

They are a well-respected and well-known brand in hearing aids, providing one of the most complete customer-care packages on all hearing solutions, and our lifetime care promise.      

For more information, call 608-745-9125.

A ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the new location of Free Spirit Travel, 311 W. Wisconsin St.

Call or stop in to book your fall or winter vacation with Gail or Ginger. Appointments recommended; call 608-742-5533 today.

A ribbon cutting was held at ReStore - Habitat for Humanity, 1450 E. Wisconsin St., to celebrate this new business opening on the south side of Portage.

Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area is a non-profit housing agency that builds and repairs homes. ReStores raise funds for construction.

For more information, call 608-356-0332.

Community Bank of Portage celebrated its 20th Anniversary last Friday. The day included live music, great food and a look at photo archives.

Congratulations to (pictured left to right) Anastasia, Danielle, Heather and Bob and the entire Community Bank Team!!

A ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the completion of Enbridge's new Line 61 pump station on Dumke Road.

Line 61 is a 42-inch diameter crude oil pipeline that spans from Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wis. to the company's terminal near Pontiac, Ill. 

Nearly 1.2 million barrels of crude oil pass through Line 61 each day.

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!
Chamber August meetings & events
9           Portage Chamber Business Luncheon at Pizza Ranch  11:30am
9           Business After 4 at La Vita at The Wellness Center   4pm-6pm
26-27    Taste of Portage Market Fair     

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. 

August Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website!

1-31   To Thine Own Art Be True art exhibit on display at Tivoli
1-5     Vacation Bible School at Portage United Methodist Church
3        Career Planning Workshop at Madison College
5        Stuff the Bus with the Portage Lions Club at Walmart
6        Madison Malone's Farewell Show at Portage Center for the Arts
6        Downtown Walking Tour
7        Indie Guys at Portage Theater
9        Portage Chamber Business Luncheon at Pizza Ranch
9        Business After 4 at LaVita
10      Open House at Madison College-Portage
11      Dementia Friendly Ribbon Cutting for businesses at Portage City Hall
11      Stuff the Bus with the Portage Lions Club at Walmart
12      Pokemon GO Lures with U.S. Cellular
13      Meat Raffle at Jack's Tap
13      Columbia County K9 Unit Golf Outing
13      Kiwanis Ride To Read Bike Ride Fundraiser
13      Portage City Flea Market at Fairgrounds
14      Cruisin' for Critters to benefit the Columbia County Humane Society
18      Career Planning Workshop at Madison College
19      Stuff the Bus with the Portage Lions Club at Walmart
19      Bingo at Our House Senior Living
20      Zona Gale Celebrates Friendship Village
20      Stuff the Bus with the Portage Lions Club at Walmart
20      Music Fest at Lawton Field
23      Summer Speaker Series at Historic Indian Agency House
24      Wednesday Evening Bible Stories at St. John's Lutheran Church
26-27   Taste of Portage Market Fair
27      Silver Lake Triathlon
28      St. Mary's Golf Outing

Monthly August Recurring Events:
Tuesdays - Thursdays: Portage Theatres Summer Series
Wednesdays: Concerts at the Portage
Thursdays: Portage Farmer's Market
Saturdays: Downtown Market
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.
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 [email protected].