Portage Press
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In This Issue
Chamber News
Community News
Community Education
Business News
Business Education
Activities and Promotions
Help Wanted

November 22, 2017
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Chamber News
Chamber Office Closed
The Chamber office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th. 
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Shop Local and Win!
This year to enhance your holiday shopping experience, the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) is proud to sponsor "Shop Local and Win!" just for shopping local. From November 25, 2017 through December 24, 2017
 spend a combined total of $200.00 (excluding gas/diesel) or more at GPCC Member businesses,
 submit by mail:copies of receipts along with entry by January 3, 2018 and receive a $10.00 Chamber gift certificate  **Limited to the first 50 entries**  Entry Form Businesses  print this flyer and encourage your patrons to participate. Member businesses can be found  here

MidWeek Mingle
The monthly MidWeek Mingle is a laid back networking event. This event allows Chamber Members to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The Mingle is traditionally held at a Chamber restaurant with drinks being available for purchase. If you are interested in hosting a MidWeek Mingle, please contact the Chamber office. 
Upcoming Mingles:
November 29th at Best Western Plus Portage Register Online. This mingle will be from 5p-7p.

Rise Shine and Share-Success in 60 Series
Date: December 14th, 7:30am-8:30am-Central Time @ Portage Best Western
The Rise, Shine and Share will continue with the Success in 60 Series featuring Larry Galler. This session will teach you how to become a Power Networker. 
Register Online
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Community News
Board Seeks Community Member
Portage Township Education Foundation
As a Portage community member, you have an exciting opportunity to support the Portage Township Schools!  Consider becoming a Board Member for the Portage Township Education Foundation!  The Portage Township Education Foundation provides funds for the Portage Township School (PTS) employees who submit grants.  These grants provide unique learning experiences for students which are not able to be funded through the typical school budget.  The funding for these grants largely comes through our fundraising efforts. Please send your name, email, phone and occupation to the Portage Township Education Foundation (PTEF) at ptefinfo@portage.k12.in.us.  We hope you can join us!

November Events at Bonner Senior Center
Bonner Senior Center
The Bonner Senior center is open Monday-Friday 8a-4p and is located at 5800 Lexington Ave in Portage. To see a schedule of November events, please click here. A calendar of the November menu can be found here

Special Christmas Offering for Non-Profits
Real Life Community Church
Real Life Community Church, in its mission to Love God, Love People and Serve the World, is seeking out local non-profit charities to partner with. Annually, Real Life donates funds taken during a special Christmas offering, to local and world-wide charities. We plan to give away a total of $30,000.00 to local charities this December 2017. Real Life will consider all applications that meet the qualifications below, however, Partnerships will be chosen based on a number of factors by members and staff of Real Life Community Church. More information

Working together to make a difference in the Ptg. Twp. Community
Portage Township Park Department
Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee and Aqua Indiana work together to make a difference in the South Haven Community.  A partnership that has continued to grow and make a difference in the lives of Portage Township children and families has just taken another step forward as representatives from Aqua Foundation Inc. presented a $1000.00 check to Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee and Jessica Bailey, President of Friends of Portage Township Foundation Inc. earlier this week.  Aqua's involvement with Portage Township Parks includes their participation in the park's 'Team Up 2 Clean Up' event which takes place each year in April.  Not only do volunteers perform cleaning and beautification tasks at the Township's South Haven parks but they also reach out into the community and have completed projects for the Boys & Girls Club, South Haven Little League, and even cleaning a 2 mile stretch of McCool Road. 
To learn more about Portage Township Parks, Friends of Portage Township Foundation Inc., or Aqua Indiana visit  www.portagetrustee.org ,  www.townshipfriends.org, or  www.aquaamerica.com

Indiana Tourism Bureau Encourages Organizations to Apply
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Indiana Dunes Tourism is offering grant money to people and groups who plan to bring visitors into the county by building new attractions or by organizing festivals, events, meetings, conventions, or sports tournaments during 2018.  Grants are available to for-profit, nonprofit, and government entities.
A total of $50,000 is available to be awarded in 2018. Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is specifically looking to support endeavors that will bring visitors from outside of the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte County areas, fill hotel rooms, and have a positive economic impact on local businesses and attractions.
In 2017, Indiana Dunes Tourism awarded grants to Gears of Hope Duneland Tour, Fish-On Annual Outdoor Show, Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, Taltree Acorn Concert Series, Northern Amateur Golf Tournament, Prairie Music Fest, Chesterton European Market, and many others.
The grants can be used for such things as construction of new attractions, as well as advertising, printing, and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used to develop brochures, websites, and other tools that encourage visitation.  Those interested in the 2018 grant program should visit:   indianadunes.com/grants .

Exercise Classes
Miller's Senior Living Community
Miller's Senior Living Community offers FREE Senior Zumba Gold Classes for everyone! These classes are offered every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in the Main Lobby at 10:45 am. The Zumba Gold class is taught by a certified YMCA instructor. All are invited to attend. 
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Community Education
Health Series: Balance & Fall Prevention
Rittenhouse Villiage at Portage
Falls can cause serious injury and dramatically affect a person's quality of life, especially for older adults. Join us at  Rittenhouse  Village at Portage, for a free fall prevention workshop, presented by Priority Rehab, to uncover the top causes of falls and tips to prevent them. Please contact Melissa with any questions or to RSVP 219-764-2900. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 29th from 2:30-3p.

Let Us Have Peace
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes will be sponsoring "Let Us Have Peace" at the Bonner Senior Center on Friday, December 15th at 10:30am. This program provides a unique tour of America and guests will learn intriguing, often untold stories behind our presidents' final days and resting places. This event is free and open to the public.  

Dollars and Sense Program 
Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial
Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Program is designed for kids from elementary through high school, our online educational platform helps your child establish good savings and spending habits at an early age.  Every child that signs up through his or her school, athletic team, or church, will be able to take a financial literacy quiz every year they are in school from kindergarten through 12 th
grade. Every year they take the quiz, Modern Woodmen will pay them $20 just for taking the quiz. In addition to the money they receive every year from Modern Woodmen, we will donate $50 per kid to the team, school, or church they sign up with. If you are interested in learning more or incorporating these programs please contact Alex Ferreira at 219.851.5732 or Alex.Ferreira@mwarep.org

FAFSA Fridays
United Way of Porter County
United Way of Porter County has partnered with three community partners to provide free FAFSA filing services beginning  Friday, October 13 Known as FAFSA Fridays, the program offers services at two Porter County locations October through April on the second Friday of each month. The program is available thanks to a partnership with Valparaiso University, Neighbors' Educational Opportunities and Indiana Tech.  "As I conversed with parents sending their children off to college, we saw a need to assist them in getting the financial support they needed to do so," said Kim Olesker, president & CEO of United Way of Porter County. "We are grateful to our partners for joining us in this effort." This opportunity is open to all seeking assistance to file their college financial aid paperwork. Participation is by appointment only. Participants should bring a hard copy of their 2015 income tax information, including W2, and the student's social security number with them to the appointment. Appointments are approximately 30 minutes long and available from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Program locations are United Way of Porter County in Valparaiso and Neighbors' Educational Opportunities in Portage. For more information about FAFSA Fridays and to make an appointment, visit UnitedWayPC.org/FAFSA.

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Business News
New Customer Specialists at the Valparaiso AAA office
AAA of Valparaiso
AAA would like to welcome two new Customer Specialists to the Valparaiso Office. Please welcome Abby Gunning and Sara Braun. Abby is a future elementary school teacher who attends Indiana University Northwest. She loves to read and spend time with her family and friends. Sara is the proud Mom to a 6 month old Golden Retriever named Hemi and a 3 month old German Shepherd named Daisy. She loves fast cars, her doggies, and her whole family loves AAA. If you would like to become a AAA Member or would like to apply for our 0% Credit Card for your Holiday shopping, please call us at (219) 242-8144.

Shannon Burhans, New CEO
Portage Township YMCA
The board of directors of the Portage Township YMCA today announced that Shannon Burhans, a Portage native with over 20 years of non-profit experience, has been named the organization's new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Burhans has been awarded the Top 20 under 40 Business People by NWI Times, Outstanding Public Citizen by Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, and Distinguished Club President by Kiwanis International.  She has been actively involved in several community service organizations and missions over the past 20 years, and has a heart for serving those in Portage. Burhans graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. 

Look Who's in the Portage-IN Office
Century 21 Affiliated
Century 21 Affiliated has added new faces to the Portage Office. Ben Crozier chose Real Estate so he can build his own business and help people chase their dreams! He is a graduate of Purdue University and avid reader. Call or text Ben at 219-877-4364. Beth Lloyd chose real estate because she loves people and loves houses. She is excited about finding the "Dream Home" for her clients. Beth also freelances as a make-up artist, assisting in weddings and special occasions. Call or text Beth at 219-393-4430.
  
New President/CEO
Porter-Starke Services
The Board of Directors of Porter-Starke Services is proud to announce that Matthew J. Burden,Ph.D., has accepted the position of President/CEO effective  December 29, 2017 . Burden, who has an extensive academic background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience research related to public health matters, has many years of executive experience in community mental health, serving as Executive Director/CEO at Swanson Center since 2009.  He also currently
serves as a Board Member for the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers. "I'm honored and excited to accept this position and will work to build upon the positive legacy the organization has established," said Burden. "With comprehensive in patient and outpatient behavioral health services as well as primary care, Porter-Starke Services is well-positioned to continue to provide high-quality healthcare services to the residents of Northwest Indiana. Current President/CEO, Rocco Schiralli, will remain with Porter-Starke as Chief Strategy Officer and take a leadership role in strategic planning for the organization.
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Business Education
Government Certification for Veteran, Minority, and Woman Owned Businesses
SCORE
Date: Wednesday, November 29th, 9am @ Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce-162 W. Lincolnway, Valparaiso
Do you know how much money you are losing by not being certified for state and federal contracts?  Do you think the process is so onerous it is not worth the time and trouble?  Is it possible being certified can make the difference in being a subcontractor?  If your answer to any of these questions is "yes", then you should attend this workshop for small business certification for veteran, minority and women owned business.
Register Here   Seating is limited.

5 Marketing Moves You Can Make Now To Increase Your 2018
SCORE
Date: Thursday, November 30th, 1pm Eastern
2017 is nearly over and smart business people are already looking ahead to the next year. They're making investments, planning out their next moves and creating strategies to grow both sales and profits in the months ahead.  Hopefully, you're doing the same.
 
In this webinar, nationally-recognized CRM expert Gene Marks will share the marketing moves these successful people are doing right now to profit next year, including:  Investing in customer relationship management: What apps they're using and what pitfalls they're avoiding.  Creating more online content:  The best practices for starting your own video or podcast series.  Revisiting their website and social media:  The latest SEO and advertising tools and how they're working with consultants.  Moving towards marketing automation:  The latest marketing automation technologies and how they're generating leads.  Establishing metrics:  How data is driving their decision making and what metrics are most useful.  And, you'll walk away with great ideas and concrete strategies for creating a 2018 marketing plan specifically for your business. Register Online

Philanthropy Roundtable-Building a Board
South Shore Leadership Center
The South Shore Leadership Center will be hosting a Philanthropy Roundtable on December 1 st , at their office from  8:30am-10am.  The program is free and open to any organization that has a board or a board member looking to be the best board member they can be! The topic of the presentation will be Building a Board, A tool kit for constructing a Highly Functioning Board. Please RSVP for this event, if you have any questions please contact Cortney at 219-989-2802
 
Thank You, Non-Profit Day
South Shore Leadership Center
Date: December 6th 11a-1p @ South Shore Leadership Center
This will be a lunch, free for employees of a non-profit. It will be a laid back lunch with remarks from Bill S, Director of The Fund Raising School at IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Max is 100 ppl. Please  RSVP

Advocate for Your Business
SCORE
Date: December 7, 1pm Eastern
Small business owners must perform countless tasks, but many forget to advocate for their businesses. Government officials make decisions that impact your ability to conduct business, so shouldn't you be involved in advocating for your company?  In this session, Joy Lutes, Vice President of External Affairs at NAWBO National (the first advocacy organization founded to represent all women business owners), will discuss how to engage in business to government advocacy efforts that will strengthen your business.  
You'll learn:  How decisions made at all levels of government can affect how you conduct business;  How to assess advocacy opportunities that exist for your business and integrate them into your plans;  How to communicate with your employees, customers and other stakeholders about the actions you take in the advocacy arena. Register Online

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Black Friday & Small Business Saturday
Comcast Business Support Small Business Saturday
Comcast Business
Dream Big. Shop Small. As a small business owner, you need to wear many hats. But it's tough to be an expert in everything, and that's why partners can be a valuable asset. Comcast Business has assembled a collection of articles on a special  Resource Center  that offers tips and advice from a wide range of experts to help you build, run, and grow your business effectively.
Dream Big. Shop Small.
Dream Big. Shop Small.
Santa is Coming
Boost Mobile
On Black Friday Santa will be at your Portage Boost Mobile! Come out and get your free picture from 9a-1p. This event is free for the whole family! Cookies nad snacks will be available. Boost Mobile is located next to Dunkin Donuts on Rt6 in Portage. Come and check out the newly renovated store! Call 219-787-8000 for more info. Download flyer

Blue Friday Specials
Blue Butterfly
It's almost time for some of the biggest discounts to take advantage of all year here at The Blue Butterfly...Most call it Black Friday. But here we call it BLUE Friday!Stop in on Friday, November 24th to save BIG on your favorite products! Plus we'll have giveaways and service specials running all weekend too.  There will be a ton of new product waiting to be discovered and plenty of restocks as well.  Details of the sale will be posted soon, so stay tuned. Can't make it in on Friday? No worries, there will be plenty of sale specials for Saturday and Sunday too, which we will post as our Blue Weekend promotion.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday (11/25) 
Vital Nutrition
Celebrate with us-come in and shop small. Vital Nutrition's Club Hours and Deals Next Week:
Mon-Wed: Normal Hours - $6 Shakes ALL DAY! 
Thurs: Closed for Thanksgiving
Fri: Open Early & Closed Early 6 AM - 12 PM - $4 SHAKES!!!
Sat: Normal Hours - $5 Shakes and a Free Tote Bag!
Sunday: Normal Hours - $6 Shakes
Starting on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, Vital's Order to Home will be 40% OFF!
vitalportage.goherbalife.com Use Code: GIVE40   This is our best deal of the year and we will not go this low again!

Black Friday Sales are Here 
Discovery Travel
BLACK FRIDAY SALES ARE HERE! 
If you would like to be on our mailing list, PM us with your info or sign up here: 

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Activities and Promotions
Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans
American Legion 502
There will be a Thanksgiving dinner served at the American Legion Post 502 for veterans and first responders who are working the Thanksgiving holiday. Information flyer

An Evening with Santa
Portage Township YMCA