March 2023
Wine Walk: Run for the Rosé
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding a Kentucky Derby-themed Wine Walk on Friday, April 28 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Wear your favorite Kentucky Derby hat and Run for the, Rosé! There will be prizes for best outfits!

Bring your friends along to enjoy a what is sure to be a fun evening in downtown! Sample a red and white wine at over 20 locations! Advance tickets sales will be available later this month. Stay tuned to for more details!
2023 Portage Community & Visitor Guides out now
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the arrival of the 2023 Visitor & Community Guide. Containing information on all the great things our area has to offer, the guides are available at local businesses including hotels & campgrounds, interstate rest areas, City Hall and more.

Click the cover at right to view the guide! >>>>>>

We are currently in the process of distributing the guides around town. If you would like a copy, please contact the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.

Thank You Advertisers!
Portage State Bank
Portage Community School District
Durward's Glen
Agrace Hospice Care
B&B Hitching Post
Madison College - Portage
Historic Indian Agency House
Wisconsin River Title
Nature's Way Landscaping and Snow Removal LLC
Pride of America Camping Resort
Sheila Link Agency American Family Insurance
The Mercantile
Portage Center for The Arts
Community Bank of Portage
Cardinal FG
Haareway Laser and Skin Rejuvenation Center
General Engineering Company
Hart & Olson Family Dentistry
Miller, Brussell, Ebben & Glaeske LLC
Fenske & Associates LLC
Blau Family Chiropractic
Portage Pizza Ranch
Kratz Funeral Home
Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells
Pointon Heating and Air Conditioning
Terrytown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
La Tolteca Authentic Mexican Cuisine
Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital & Clinics
Portage Lumber Do-It Best
Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center
Chamber Business Luncheon
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to develop more customers and build relationships 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
Steve Sobiek, Director of Business Development and Planning for the City of Portage, will be our speaker. He will be giving us an update on projects, programs and development in the City of Portage.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Location: Portage Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Road
Time: Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: Pay for your lunch at the restaurant 
Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant
Free Covid-19 Vaccination Cinic
A free Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic is available on Friday, March 3 from 12:30pm to 3:30pm for ages 12+ at Portage High School, 301 E. Collins Street. No appointment is needed but you should please bring insurance card.

Free Covid vaccinations for 6-11 year-olds will take place at Wilz Hometown Pharmacy in downtown. Please call 608-742-3545 to schedule an appointment for March 3. Free $50 Kwik Trip Gas Card to everyone receiving a Covid-19 vaccine or booster at both events!
Art, Glass and Bead Show
Downtown Portage's Prairie Flower Beads will be at this event happening at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie, March 3-5.

A Make-n-Take Event takes place on Friday, March 3 from 6pm to 10pm. On Saturday and Sunday, March 4 & 5, classes and show floor are open: Sat. 10am to 5pm and Sun. 10am to 4pm. Click here for more information.
Tri-Star Pass/Dribble/Shoot Basketball Contest
The Portage Optimist Club will be hosting its annual Tri-Star Basketball Contest on Saturday, March 4 at the Portage High School Gym, 301 E. Collins Street. The contest is composed of three basic skills tests in passing, shooting, and dribbling for boys and girls from ages 6 to 13. Each participant will be evaluated individually within his/her own age bracket and gender group.
To register, come to the gym on the day of the contest. Students are encouraged to bring their own ball with which to practice/warm-up prior to the competition. There is no cost to register. All age levels should register by 8:45am that day. Doors open at 8am. First place contestant winners will also be given the opportunity to participate in the Southern Wisconsin (SWIS) District Contest on April 29 in Sun Prairie.
Badger Breweriana, Bottle & Advertising Show
Portage VFW Post #1707 is hosting the Badger Breweriana, Bottle & Advertising Show on Saturday, March 4 from 10am to 2pm. For more information, call 608-369-1372.

The VFW is located 215 W. Collins Street, behind Walgreen's.
Welcome New Chamber Members

Homeward Bound Animal Behavior & Training
PO BOX 836; Pardeeville, WI 53954
Emily Blithe at 608-535-9743
A force free, positive reinforcement-based training service that offers
in-home and virtual behavior consultations for dogs, cats, and birds.

MachineLab Fitness Center & Crossfit
1410 E. Wisconsin Street; Portage, WI 53901
Serina Seiler at 608-697-6713
Fully functional, 24/7-access fitness center, 10,000 sq. ft. space.
We are also a CrossFit gym with membership options as well.

M&M Tackle It Bait Shop
Matt Meenen at 608-683-2006
Offering custom rods, custom baits, live bait and more!
Opportunity for Businesses to Show Appreciation for Nurses
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with UW Health to encourage member businesses to consider offering discounts to nurses in our community during National Nurses Week, May 6-12 or throughout the month of May.
Nurses Week poses a unique opportunity for local businesses to show their appreciation for all the highly valued nurses in our community who make a difference in the lives of patients, families and the community, every day. This opportunity would allow chamber member businesses to thank all nurses during this special time.

“Local discounts have been provided in the past and our nurses love it—especially food options they can enjoy before, during or after a shift,” states Maggie Reeve, BSN, RN, Chair of the UW Health Nurses Week Committee. “Our nurses see the importance of supporting local businesses and in turn, we feel appreciated and supported by the community with any discounts that are provided. It’s definitely a win-win.”
If your business is able to offer a discount to nurses from May 6-12 or throughout the month of May, please complete this simple form by Friday, April 14. UW Health and the participating chambers will share the final list of participating businesses on their respective websites to make all community nurses aware of these local discounts.

Please direct any questions to: Hailey Hicks, BSN, RN, UW Health Specialty Clinic-Sauk Prairie, at Please consider this opportunity to show your business’s support of community nurses while enjoying some added exposure for your business among thousands of nurses.
About Senator Joan Ballweg
Effective January 2023, the 14th Senate District shifts affecting parts of Columbia, Dodge, Outagamie, Sauk, Waupaca and Waushara Counties. The existing parts of Adams, Green Lake, Marquette and Fond du Lac Counties will remain in the district. Ballweg is the State Senator for the 14th Senate District and resides with her husband, Tom, in Markesan. This session, she will serve in Senate leadership as the caucus vice-chair.

Some of her special legislative interests include strengthening families, early childhood education and suicide prevention. In the past, she has chaired the Legislative Council Steering Committee for Supporting Healthy Early Brain Development and the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention. She is also a founding member of the Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus.

Reach out to her office if you need help with a state agency, have questions on legislation or have any concerns on state government related issues. She once again was appointed chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Tourism and reappointed to the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance. She will also serve as member of the following committees: Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Children & Families; Universities & Revenue; State Building Commission.

During the budget process, her office produces a Ballweg Budget Bulletin to keep constituents up to date with investments the Joint Committee on Finance is making in state programs. Sign up to receive those emails at
Two AMPI cheeses in elite top 20
A Medium Cheddar produced by Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) in Blair, Wis., has been named the best in its class and second runner-up overall in the 2023 United States Championship Cheese Contest. AMPI was further distinguished as the only dairy farmer-owned company to have two entries named to the elite group of top 20 finishers revealed this week.

AMPI’s entries topped nearly 2,250 contenders from 197 companies and cooperatives across 35 U.S. states in the biennial competition hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. This is the first time AMPI has achieved the honor of having two cheeses named to the final group in the same year, said Mike Wolkow, senior vice president of operations.

The second AMPI cheese in the top 20 is a Ghost Pepper Jack, a spicy cheese produced by cheesemakers working at AMPI’s Jim Falls, Wis., facility.

Mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack made at the co-op’s plant in Sanborn, Iowa, are featured in the first-place shredded cheese blend entry. The blend was cut and packaged at AMPI’s Portage, Wis., facility.

“The dedication of our dairy farm families and cheesemakers — and all of the team members in between — ensures consistent championship-caliber cheese that we are proud to deliver to our customers in the U.S. and around the globe,” Wolkow said.
Bank First merger with Hometown Bank complete
Bank First Corporation, the holding company of Bank First, is pleased to announce the completion of its merger with Hometown Bancorp, Ltd. ("Hometown"), the parent company of Hometown Bank, effective February 10, 2023.
"We are delighted to welcome Hometown Bank employees, customers, and shareholders to Bank First," stated Mike Molepske, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Bank First. "Hometown is a strong organization which has served its communities well for over 116 years. We are pleased to welcome Tim McFarlane as President, along with a talented team of bankers who are dedicated to delivering value to our customers and shareholders while strengthening relationships in the communities we serve."
Former Hometown Bank offices in Cambridge, Fond du Lac (two locations), Pardeeville, Poynette, and Wautoma opened as Bank First branches on Monday, February 13.
VP-Business Banking
o: 608.635.0454 | m: 608.513.5626
105 S Main Street | Poynette, WI 53955
VP-Retail Banking/Branch Manager | NMLS# 945709
o: 608.635.0475 | m: 608.697.6962
512 S Main Street | Pardeeville, WI 53954
Harbor Recovery meetings
The Harbor Recovery Center offers help to those coping with addiction and their families. The center is located at 1505 New Pinery Road. 

For more information on monthly meetings, click here or call 608-697-7163.
Library classes
The Portage Public Library hosts many health positive weekly classes such as yoga, meditation, and Zumba. Click here to find some regularly scheduled classes, call the library at 608-742-4959, or email The Portage Public Library is located at 253 W. Edgewater Street.
Poker at VFW
The VFW Post 1707 is open on Wednesdays for Texas Hold'em Poker. Poker starts at 7:30pm with a $20 buy in. All buy in money paid out to winners. Join in the fun!

For more information, call the VFW, 215 W. Collins Street, at 608-742-5350.
Support Groups at Aspirus Divine Savior
The Diabetes Support Group meets on the first Thursday of every month, from 1:30pm to 2:30pm in Classroom A/B - Lower Level of Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital & Clinic at 2817 New Pinery Road.

The Brain Injury and Stroke Support Group meets every 4th Tuesday of each month from 1pm to 2pm at the Wellness Center at Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital in Suite 4 Conference Room. Contact Rehab Services at 608-745-6290 with any questions.
Culver's Fundraiser for CCHS
Culver's Fundraiser for Columbia County Humane Society will be held on Monday, March 6 from 5pm to 8pm. Part of the sales from the night will go to support the CCHS from 5pm-8pm.

Culver's is located at 2733 New Pinery Road in Portage.
Agrace Virtual Support Group
This month, Agrace is offering Bridges, a professionally led, virtual grief support group. Bridges is for adults grieving the death of any loved one. Meetings are held every other Wednesday via Zoom. In March, meetings are March 8 and 22, from 9:30am to 11am. Pre-registration is required for each session; call 608-327-7118 with questions or to register.
Get Expert Customized Grief Support—by Text Group
Agrace now offers thoughtful, customized text messages from a service called Help Texts. It’s free and you can sign up even if you are also receiving grief support individually or in a group. To sign up or learn more, visit
Bingo at Saddle Ridge
The Portage VFW Post #1707 will host bingo on Thursdays beginning at 6pm at the Saddle Ridge Clubhouse through April. There is a progressive jackpot at the end of the season. Bingo card sales begin at 5:30pm.

Saddle Ridge is located at 100A Saddle Ridge. For more information, call 608-742-2181.
Art Attack at Portage Center for the Arts
Come to the Drury Gallery at Portage Center for the Arts on Friday, March 3 at 4pm for Art Attack. This exciting speed painting competition between eight local artists will take place to raise money for local school art programs. Proceeds of this event will benefit Portage School District Art Program. This event takes place with Portage K-8 Art Show.

Portage K-8 Art Show
Portage Center for the Arts is the place to be for the Opening Reception of the Portage K-8 Art Show, free and open to the public, on Friday, March 3 from 4pm to 6pm. Light refreshments will be served. Exhibit runs through March 31.

The WhiskeyBelles
The WhiskeyBelles will perform at Portage Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30pm. This Milwaukee-based trio features their own take on classic and obscure vintage-country and Americana, with witty originals mixed in!

Get on Board
Dedicated, passionate, individuals are wanted to join Portage Center for the Arts Board of Trustees. Committee openings are also available. Stop by the center's Drury Gallery on Monday, March 13 from 5pm to 7pm to chat with Board members and pick up additional information. Enjoy light appetizers, beer and wine. Find details and an online application at
Art That Blooms - Call for Poetry/Florals
Art That Blooms 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 work of art. This exhibit runs June 2 through July 21. The call for poetry and florals begins Wednesday, March 22. Stop by the PCA to choose your inspiration piece. View details at

Lunch Break Series
Grab your lunch, bring a friend, and join us in PCA's Zona Gale Theatre at 12pm for your flexible noon hour on select Thursdays throughout the year! $5 at the door! Learn a line dance and hear more about  'Follow My Lead' at the Thursday, March 23 Lunch Break. Gigi Vail and Lynn Morrison are instructors, choreographers and dancers, offering 'Barn Dance' experiences for your group, to include lessons on the top line dances!

Portage Center for the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook Street. For more information or tickets, call 608-742-5655.
Advertise in this Chamber newsletter
Having an event you want others to know about? Submit a one-time flyer insert in this newsletter for $25. Or place a year-long newsletter ad, which links to your website, for $300/year. Call the Portage Chamber for more information at 608-742-6242.
Sauk Columbia SHRM Meeting
OSHA updates will be the topic of the Wednesday, March 8 Sauk Columbia SHRM (SC SHRM) meeting at Monk's at the Wilderness from 11:30am to 1pm. The organization is made up of HR professionals from these two area counties. They are focused on staying educated and informed of ever changing regulations and in touch with other peers in the field. RSVP link can be found here about one week prior to event
Women's Civic League March Luncheon Meeting
The Women's Civic League will be having a luncheon on Wednesday, March 8 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at La Tolteca, 2756 New Pinery Road. Social hour begins at 11:30am, lunch is at noon, followed by the program. Adam Novey, Executive Director and Curator of the Historic Indian Agency House, will discuss "Ho-Chunk Villages of 1832." Everyone is welcome.

Lunch includes salad, chips and salsa, beef enchilada and chicken quesadilla, churros and beverage of iced tea or coffee. Cost is $18, including tip. To make a reservation by Saturday, March 4, call Joan Jacobson at 608-617-5441 or click here.
Bee Alive Yoga Anniversary Sale:
Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary!
Enjoy one month unlimited classes for $80 or one month of chair yoga for $50 at Bee Alive Yoga during the 3rd Anniversary Sale, March 12-18. Come celebrate three years in business!

Check out fun classes with Dr. Rachel. Disco Yoga is happening on Friday, March 10 at 6:30pm. Bee Alive Yoga is located at 230 W. Wisconsin Street. For more information, call 608-745-9333 or visit
Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters Book Club
Members of the Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters Book Club will gather by Zoom to discuss The Bomber Mafia by Mafia Gladwell on Sunday, March 12 from 3pm to 5pm.

For details and updates, visit or For more information, call 608-742-2949.
Annual Alzhimer's Fundraiser & Raffle
The Annual St. Patrick's Celebration / Alzheimer's Fundraiser & Raffle is happening on Thursday, March 16 from 11am to 7pm at Fitz's on the Lake, W11602 Highway V in Lodi. Shenanigans and live music start at 4pm. Corned beef and cabbage is available for $12.99 with reservation and To-Go options. Raffle tickets are $5 with drawing at 5pm. Purchase tickets now through March 16 at Fitz's. You do not need to be present to win. All raffle ticket proceeds and 10% of food goes to the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin.
Vietnam Veterans Luncheon at VFW
All are welcome to attend the Vietnam Veterans Luncheon and help the Portage VFW recognize and give thanks to all who served during the Vietnam War. The luncheon will be held at the Portage VFW Portage, 215 W. Collins Street, from 11am-3pm on Saturday, March 18.

At 11am there will be a short program, proclamation and presentation of colors. Memorabilia will be on display and a video of veterans shown. A light lunch of sandwiches, baked beans and potato salad with beverages available. No charge to attend, donations are accepted and appreciated. For more information, call 608-742-5350.
Lions Club Radio Auction
Portage Lions Club Radio Auction will take place at the Portage VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins Street, on Saturday, March 25 from Noon to 4pm. 

Click Here for the booklet of auction items! The booklets are also now available in the Chamber office at 104 W. Cook Street. Contact Nancy at 608-742-7242 for more information.
Want to submit an article for this newsletter?
The Chamber's monthly newsletter deadlines the 20th of the month. Members are always welcome to let others know: about new products and services; introduce new associates or promotions; provide updates about their industry or business; give helpful tips; promote a sale or event. For more information, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Portage Sharing Supper
Come and "share supper" together with the community on Monday, March 27 from 5pm to 6:30pm at Wayne Bartels Middle School, 2505 New Pinery Road, and the last Monday of each month.

In addition to the free meal, there is a "Kid's Corner" for young people to do a craft and hear a story as well as informational tables for adults. There will also be a free blood pressure station available.

The purpose of these suppers is to build and nourish community relationships by providing a dining experience that is free of all economic and social barriers.
Submit your Events!
Are you planning an event this year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at One of the most popularly viewed of the Chamber website pages, the calendar allows you to submit your own events.

Simply click this link and submit your events. If you have questions, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
Spread the word about Portage!
Use #portagewi or #portagechamberwi in your social media posts.
Check out the Chamber's YouTube Channel HERE
Job postings on
Check out these job postings on our Chamber site from our member businesses. You are welcome to post job openings your business may have at any time. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 for more information.
Join a Service Club - Meetings subject to change
Rotary - Meets Wednesdays at Noon at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Lions Club - Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd., summer month meetings change locations
Kiwanis - Meets on Wednesdays at Noon at Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Rd.
Optimists - Meets on Tuesdays at 7am at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Elks - Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday at 7pm; 2nd Tuesday only in July, August and December
Women's Civic League - Meets 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |