April 2018 NewsBreak

Portage Area
Chamber of Commerce
Portage Wine Walk 2018
Think Spring with a night out in our downtown on our Wine Walk on Friday, April 27 from 6pm to 9pm. Spend time with your friends enjoying great wine inside various businesses and walking from place to place to shop. The Wine Walk is a very hot ticket, so don't wait to get yours!

Advance ticket sales are now on. Tickets will be sold by cash or check at the Chamber of Commerce Office, BonBon and Bordeaux and Prairie Flower Beads or online at

Tickets to the Wine Walk are $30 each in advance. Admission includes one wine glass per person, tasting map and wristband. Participants must be 21 or over and ID is required. Tickets are limited.
All ticket sales are final and lost tickets will not be replaced.

The locations this year:
 Portage Center for the Arts
Smart Woman Accessories
Turning Point Realty
Wilz Drug
Portage Theatres
Neil’s Wine House
The Mercantile
Eye Deal Eyewear
Fort Winnebago Masonic Center
 The Ball Room
Forever Yours Jewelry
 Fancy Pants & Smart Woman
BonBon and Bordeaux
Douglas' Big Dog Saloon
Jack’s Tap
April 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.

Luncheon Information
Amber Nikolai, State Adjutant of the American Legion Department of Wisconsin
Portage is home for the American Legion State Headquarters.
Nikolai is a Navy veteran who served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was the Agency Liaison for The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Home at King. Amber will be talking with us about the programs and services that they offer to serving veterans, their families and the community. In addition, you will have the chance to walk through their onsite museum. The Wisconsin American Legion Museum and Learning Center purpose is to educate, inform, and preserve memorabilia about veterans and The Wisconsin American Legion.

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.
Date: Tuesday, April 3
Where: American Legion State Headquarters (next to Walmart)
Time: Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: $10 cash or check at the door
March Business Luncheon recap
Many residents have opinions on what they see Portage as and what they would like it to become. Addressing about 40 attendees at the Portage Chamber Business Luncheon on March 6, City of Portage Director of Business Development & Planning Steve Sobiek laid out the reality of what Portage is today: an incredible manufacturing base providing great opportunities for a town our size, with many of our manufacturers expanding in recent months.

Specifically, Portage’s north side has become a regional food center with the cluster of Aldi, Festival Foods and Walmart, a go-to destination for those in need of groceries, Sobiek said.

Tough challenges face the city. Capturing workers to fill the labor shortage, then finding affordable housing options for them are among the chief concerns Another challenge, according to Sobiek, is the lack of transportation options in the city, realizing that many workers rely on affordable transportation to get them to and from work. The city is working on solutions, Sobiek said.

Challenges aside, the city has many things to look forward to. Sobiek mentioned the developments of a professional office park on Silver Lake Drive and the Northside Business Park, upgrades to the Portage Municipal Airport, new pathways through the city, and one of the state’s most dangerous intersections made safer with the construction of a round-a-bout at the intersection of I-39, Highway 16 and 127.

Looking further into the future, Sobiek said the Veteran’s Memorial Field will continue to see improvements, noting the installation of viewing towers enabling a birds-eye view of the nearby Wisconsin and the Fox rivers, canal cleanup continuing east of Adams Street and a new streetscape from Ontario Street along Highway 16/51 to the downtown.
Chamber Golf Outing 2018
The 36th Annual Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing will be held on Wednesday, June 13 at the Portage Country Club.
This is a fun opportunity to network with many fellow Chamber members on the fairways and greens.

The outing is the largest fundraiser for the Portage Chamber.
Pre-game activities begin at 9:30am with call to carts for the shotgun start at 11am. At 5:30pm, a buffet style dinner at The NorthShore Restaurant will be served. Register your foursome now. Golf is $100 per person and includes buffet. Call 608-742-6242 for more details.
Concert in the Park & Festival Foods Fireworks
Mark your calendar and be there when the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plays at Portage's Pauquette Park for the 26th consecutive year on Saturday, June 30. Stick around for the great Festival Foods Fireworks display following the concert at 9:30pm.

Sponsor of this event! Purchase premium seating with a table for eight and take in the concert between the willows. For sponsorship info, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Thank you to Festival Foods, Portage Tourism and the Business Improvement District for your major contributions toward this event!
Business Profile - Koss Virtual Assistant                         
My name is Wendy Koss and I own Koss Virtual Assistant. I opened in February 2018, shortly after moving to Portage from Sun Prairie, with the support of my boyfriend and family. My mission is to provide administrative support services to business owners and other professionals by providing world class services and expertise at affordable prices.

I moved to Portage in October of last year. I live with my boyfriend and his teenage son and I have two adult sons of my own, one lives in Madison and my younger son lives here in Portage. I have felt very welcomed by the community since moving here and since I love helping people and being a part of my community, I am already involved in community activities. I joined the Portage Chamber of Commerce and I am a member of the Portage Lions Club.

I work remotely from my home office helping business owners and other professionals by taking the small tasks off their to-do lists and putting them on mine! I work with entrepreneurs, freelancers, executives, CEOs, directors, managers, lawyers, sales representatives, the list goes on and on!

I love helping people and I love doing administrative tasks. So, I took those two passions and made a career out of them. I went to college for administrative assistance and I worked for over 18 years for a few large companies helping them and their customers, when one day I realized that I can help even more people by becoming a virtual assistant and have the flexibility that I craved.

There are so many advantages to my clients when they hire me as their virtual assistant. I not only help save them time by doing small and tedious tasks, but I also save money for my clients, they don’t have to pay for office space for me, they don’t have to pay for benefits for me, they only pay me when I’m working.

Some of the services I offer:
  • Virtual Assistance: calendar, email and file management; data entry; creating reports; general transcription; editing and proofreading; basic bookkeeping and invoicing; booking hotels & flights.
  • Virtual Customer Service: collecting past due balances; inbound and outbound calls; scheduling appointments; responding to customer inquiries and team member liaison.
  • Website Assistance: managing websites and blogs and autoresponders.
  • Personal Virtual Assistance: household management; managing family calendars; email management; booking travel and sending letters and holiday cards.

Please visit my website at to find out more about me and the services I offer and how I can assist you. Or contact me at or 608-729-3020. Help is on its way!!
Welcome Chamber New Members

Koss Virtual Assistant
Wendy Koss at 608-729-3020 ext. 101
With 18+ years of experience with major companies, the tedious tasks come off your
plate so you can concentrate on the important things that will grow your business.
Portage Area Community Fund
The Portage Area Community Fund (PACF) meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 4:30pm at the Portage Enterprise Center, 1800 Kutzke Road. Everyone is welcome. As they approach their initial benchmark for giving out grants to the community, they welcome and encourage donations online at

PACF was established in 2016 with the goal to bring awareness to philanthropy in the community. Annually the advisory committee will award grants to qualified organizations in the Portage area. PACF is a regional giving partner of Madison Community Foundation (MCF), which provides access to field expertise, administrative and investment services, marketing opportunities and legal status in an efficient and effective manner.

PACF is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all citizens in the Portage area through raising private and community funds, awarding grants, and developing partnerships to strengthen and enrich our community for present and future generations. All contributions to PACF are tax deductible.
Sara & Kenny at PCA
She grew up in Italy. He grew up in Wisconsin. Together, they create an eclectic and intimate blend of voice, ukulele, nylon and steel string guitars from their home base in London.

Get your tickets now to hear this duo perform on April 14 at 7:30pm at Portage Center for the Arts. For more information, call the PCA at 742-5655.
Teddy Roosevelt Show
Join the Portage Service Club Association (PSCA) for an evening performance with President Teddy Roosevelt, featuring Joe Wiegand, on Thursday, April 5 at 7:30pm at Portage Center for the Arts.

Joe Wiegand is considered the world's premier Theodore Roosevelt reprisor. As an actor and historian, Joe's portrayals of Theodore Roosevelt in live performances and in television and film have people wondering if TR has come back to life.

This event is a fundraiser presented by the PSCA to raise funds for a pavilion at Pauquette Park, along with handicapped accessible public restrooms, plus a 5 foot wide sidewalk for access. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids and are available at the Portage Chamber office at 104 W. Cook St.
Checks payable to the Portage Service Club Association.
Portage Furniture hiring
Portage Furniture Store is hiring a delivery, warehouse, and service team member for immediate start in a part-time (approx. 20 hours per week) capacity with potential for full-time advancement. Job requirements include: delivery, installation and placement of product in home and in store; simple repair and assembly of furniture; receive incoming merchandise; professionally greet and communicate with customers.

Apply in person at the store, ask for Aaron. For more information, call Portage Furniture, 126 E. Cook St., at 608-742-4106.
On-site document shredding opportunity
Kathy Houzner & Julie Groves, Financial Advisors with Waddell & Reed invite you for free on-site document shredding and breakfast treats on Saturday, May 19 from 9am to 11am at the office of Waddell & Reed, 311 E. Wisconsin St.

John Miller, Senior Attorney with Miller & Miller, will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a trust at 10am. Please RSVP to Erin Wermeling by Friday, May 11 at 608-742-4688 or

Waddell & Reed creates personalized financial plans based on your specific needs and utilizing competitive investment products—the core of their concept. Because of this distinctive approach, Waddell & Reed has helped millions of Americans develop financial plans to help them work toward their dreams, such as sending their children to college, providing for retirement or simply accumulating assets.
Coldwater Canyon hiring
Coldwater Canyon Golf Course at Chula Vista is hiring for all positions in Wisconsin Dells. Apply in the Human Resources office at the Chula Vista. Full and part time positions are available with employee discounts on rooms, golf, restaurants and free waterpark passes. For more information, call 608-254-1614.  
Text PACC to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Chamber events
I Am For The Child Day
Columbia County CASA would like to invite you to participate in the 1st Annual I Am For The Child Day on April 18, 2018. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and CASA programs across the state will be encouraging folks to wear blue. The wear blue day is intended to raise awareness of child abuse issues in our state, as well as raise awareness of the work that CASA is doing with abused and neglected children in the court system.

Social Media Resources will be utilized to spread the word and connect folks around the state that are participating in the day. We also have a webpage - - for event information and recognition of all the organizations and businesses that are participating. Please contact Darryl at 608-745-9977 or for more information or if you would like to participate.
Portage High Clay Busters Raffle
The Portage High School Clay Busters are just starting their third season with the Wisconsin High School Clay Target League. The Portage Rod & Gun Club, one of the founding sponsors of the Clay Busters, instills gun safety and the lifelong enjoyment and challenge that target shooting leagues provide.

The number of Portage High students participating in the Clay Busters has grown each season to 30 this year. A raffle is being held to help pay a portion of the athletes' fees. The top prize is a CZ over/under 12 gauge shotgun with many other great prizes including hunts and gift certificates. Tickets are 1 for $10, 3 for $20, or 7 for $50. The raffle will be held as part of Kids Fun Day at the Portage Rod & Gun Club on Saturday, June 2 (Do not have to be present to win).

Tickets are available from the athletes or coaches and on sale at the Portage Rod and Gun Club, W10450 Hwy 16, just west of Portage. For more information, contact Bill Voigt, Portage High Clay Busters Head Coach, at 608-547-2578.
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!
museum at the portage
Museum begins 2018 season
Opening day for the 2018 season at the Museum at the Portage will be Thursday, April 5. During the month of April, the Museum hours of operation are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1-4pm.

The Museum is located at 804 MacFarlane Road and features many displays relative to the history of our city. For more information, call 608-742-6682.
Positively Portage! announces first grant competition
Postively Portage!, the Portage Area Community Charitable Trust, is approaching its first anniversary! They have spent this first year working to raise community awareness of Positively Portage! and raising funds that will allow them to continue community service in perpetuity. You have probably seen their green and white billboards and signs posted around the area.

Community support for Postively Portage! has been growing! The end of 2017 brought some substantial contributions to the fund. Because of your support, they are able to begin working to improve the Portage area. In this spirit Positively Portage! announces its first grant competition! They will award three matching $1500 matching grants to area community public service organizations who are selected by their board. Applications for their grants are available at the Chamber office or you can request an application by email at

Please help Positively Portage! build a better community by making a contribution to the fund. Contributions can be mailed to Positively Portage!, 121 Cook St., Portage, WI 53901 or by going to our website at
Text PORTAGE to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Portage events
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Wisconsin River Title Consultants, 101 Hiawatha Street, to celebrate the remodel of their business in Portage.

A full service title company for both residential and commercial real estate transactions, they have an experienced and professional staff that can offer title insurance, real estate closings, and construction disbursements with
offices in Portage and Baraboo.

For more information, please call
A ribbon cutting was held at Theresa's Boutique, 2830 New Pinery Road, to welcome this new business in Portage.

Your new trendy, affordable fashion boutique featuring sizes for missy, women's and curvy, as well as accessories and home decor.

For more information, please call 608-697-3143.
April Chamber Meetings & Events
2 Breakfast with Mayor Rick Dodd at Jack's Tap 8:30am
3 Chamber Business Luncheon 11:30am at American Legion Headquarters
4 Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank 8am
4 Ribbon Cutting at Guaranteed Rate 9am
12 Ribbon Cutting at Mercantile 5pm
17 Golf Committee Meeting at 11:30am 
19 Ribbon Cutting at Portage Theatres 4pm
27 Wine Walk 6pm-9pm
April Community Events
1 Bingo at VFW
2 Breakfast with Mayor Dodd at Jack's Tap
3 Chamber Business Luncheon at American Legion
3 Poetry in Portage at Suzy's Steak & Seafood House
5 Opening of Museum at the Portage
5 Agrace New Volunteer Orientation
5 Griefshare Support Group at Portage United Methodist Church
5 The Teddy Roosevelt Show at the Portage Center for the Arts
6 Opening Reception for the Portage High School Art Exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
7 Family Fun Event at Portage Library
7 Act, Learn, Grow! at Portage Center for the Arts
7 Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at VFW
11 Columbia Sauk SHRM meeting
12 'Smart' Cookie Sale at Divine Savior Healthcare
12 Griefshare Support Group at Portage United Methodist Church
13 Sam Bieno Memorial Blood Drive at Divine Savior Healthcare
14 Madison College Free Workshop: Starting Your Own Business
14 Columbia County Humane Society Open House
14 United Way Spaghetti Dinner at Northwoods Banquet Hall
14 Trivia Night at St. Mary's
14 Sara & Kenny at Portage Center for the Arts
15 Bingo at VFW
16 Portage Historical Society Annual Dinner Meeting
17 Madison College Portage Campus Blood Drive
18 I Am For The Child Day
19 Griefshare Support Group at Portage United Methodist Church
19 VFW Meat Raffle Night
20-30 Rethought Drawings Artwork at Tivoli
21 Meat Raffle at Jack's Tap
24 Portage Area Community Fund Meeting at Enterprise Center
25 Agrace New Volunteer Orientation
25 Coffee with Our House Senior Living
25 Endeavor Sharing Supper
26 Medical Missions Presentation at Portage Center for the Arts
27 Portage Chamber Wine Walk 2018
27 Euchre Card Party at Portage Presbyterian Church
28-29 Spotlight on Talent Show at Portage Center for the Arts
28 Act, Learn, Grow! at Portage Center for the Arts
29 Student Recital Series at Portage Center for the Arts
30 Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartels Middle School

Weekly Recurring Events
Beer Bucket Bingo at Jack's Tap every Monday at 6:30pm
Portage United Methodist Church Bible Study at Heritage House, Tuesdays at 10am
Portage United Methodist Church Worship Service at Heritage House, Tuesdays at 11am
Bingo at Rock N Wool Winery every Thursday at 6pm

Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |