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Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
January 2021
Happy New Year Chamber Members!
We wish everyone a successful and healthy 2021.
Portage Holiday Light Decorating Contest
The winner of the 2020 Portage Holiday Light Decorating Contest was the property at 130 Brook Street. Highlights of the creation include a couple elevated stars over the rooftop, an air-bound Santa and his reindeer and many homemade display items. We had seventeen entries to review and a big thank you to Wisconsin River Title Consultants for sponsoring and judging the event.
Enhance your business listing on Chamber website
Welcome to a new year and a new opportunity with the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce. As a Chamber member, you have a listing and searchable visibility within our online business directory at our website We want to invite you to make sure your information is complete, accurate and searchable and introduce you to some new options. 

Michelle Bursch, our new Internet Marketing Consultant, will be helping us and will be available to answer any questions and guide you in the process. 
We are offering a new opportunity for you to:
  • Utilize the Chamber website features
  • Expand your visibility on the Chamber website and be a featured business within your industry/category
  • Have banner ad placements on high-traffic pages
  • List your business information online that is included in your membership and review listing upgrade features

If you are interested in finding out more about this new opportunity, reach out to Michelle directly at 1-800-825-1785 x320,, or the Portage Chamber with questions at 608-742-6242 or
Face Mask 2
COVID-19 Antigen and Antibody Test
COVID-19 antigen and antibody testing is now available at Wilz Hometown Pharmacy, 140 E. Cook Street.

Please call the pharmacy at 608-742-3545 to schedule an appointment. There is a fee for each test and it takes about 10 minutes.
Submit your 2021 Events!
Are you planning an event this year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at One of the most popular 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.
Meet Sarah Niles of Journey Mental Health
Season's Greeting! My name is Sarah Niles. I’m the new Clinical Team Manager for Journey Mental Health Center’s Columbia County Community Support Program (CSP). Dawn Anderson-Mueller, my former supervisor retired in late October, and I was honored to be given this opportunity to step into her role. I worked as a case manager for two years at this program prior to this job promotion. 

Just a brief introduction of myself, I grew up on a heritage dairy farm in Rio. I have a master’s degree in Social Work. I worked in a variety of settings before becoming a mental health clinician at Journey Mental Health Center (e.g., child protective service worker, social work instructor at various accredited universities, foster parent and hospice volunteer). I am passionate about working with and for the people in our community.

In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, spending time with family, supporting my elderly parents on our heritage farm, and learning how to drive my father's restored antique tractors. 

If you or your loved one needs specialized mental health support for severe and persistent mental illness in Columbia County, please contact our office. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have continued to visit with consumers in Columbia County, via brief in person or phone contacts, to support with mental health, crisis and medication management and ensuring resource availability. We are fortunate to receive funding from Columbia County Human Services to give Columbia County residents access to this specialized, recovery-oriented, mental health service. 

See the link below for more information about our program and contact information:
Rhyme history continues...
Since 1886 Rhyme has been in the stationery and office products business, when Frank A. Rhyme purchased the drug store from Clifford Arnold, selling stationery products such as writing paper, slates, pencils, ink, pens, sponges and more. Since 1886 Rhyme has been in the stationery and office products business.

William Marshall "Punk" Rhyme took over Rhyme Drug, following the death of his father Frank A. Rhyme. Rhyme announced a new product offering, the Underwood Typewriter, in 1945, adding to the current lines of office supplies, furniture and equipment and a complete service department already being ran within Rhyme Drug.

In June of 1946 William Rhyme officially branches out Rhyme Supply Company, a typewriter and office machine shop. His son, Frank A. Rhyme helped start the business that was conducted in the balcony of Rhyme Drug. Over the course of the next few years, additional offerings were added and the business kept growing. In 1950, Frank A. Rhyme officially took over Rhyme Drug and William continued to spend most of his time at Rhyme Supply Company.

Fast forward to August 1999 when Mike Steinhoff purchased Rhyme Business Products from Ken Hutler. Steinhoff quickly added two additional offices in Madison and Janesville. In 2000, the company name was shortened to Rhyme and acquisitions and various business awards have followed in the years since.

Rhyme continues to serve during its 134th historic year - 75 years as an official office technology company and 134 years in business under the Rhyme Family name.

Click Here to view a short video on the history of Rhyme.
madison college
Update for the Madison College Foundation
As 2020 just ended, the Madison College Foundation is filled with gratitude for the support the community has shown throughout the past year. Below we’ve shared some “2020 By The Numbers” to highlight the impact you have had. And speaking of impact, we are in the middle of our year-end appeal and invite you to join us with a gift today.

2020 By the Numbers
•         1,500+ Scholarships awarded
•         3,500+ Emergency Grants provided to students in need (from private and public sources)
•         30+ new funds established
•         2 funds established in memory of George Floyd
•         One fund created in memory of Breonna Taylor
•         Over 590 new donors supported Madison College students
•         Over 290 donors gave to the Student Emergency Support Fund
•         $58,500+ donated by Madison College & Foundation faculty and staff
Portage Center for the Arts news
Pat Kroth's contemporary fiber art virtual exhibit "Playing With Fabric & Color" opens January 8. The onsite exhibit runs January 8 through January 30. Please note that opening receptions have been temporarily suspended and both gallery hours and capacity limits are reduced until further notice.

Create & Share 13-week Winter Challenge - Check the Portage Center for the Arts' social media for weekly art challenges beginning in January and renew your creativity this winter! This project is open to everyone! Create, then share your art by posting it on social media #PCASHAREITBACK, commenting on the original post, or emailing There are prizes for those who create and share all 13 challenges!

Click Here for the 2021 Portage Center for the Arts Art that Blooms entry form.
Support healthcare workers
Due to COVID-19 medical workers are exhausted and need can help. You can thank a health care worker, encourage them with an inspirational thought, or just say hello and tell them that you are thinking of them. No special skills are required. No special materials are required; crayons and construction paper are just as welcome as a custom designed note card.

Having words of encouragement when the days seem dark, long, and never-ending could make all the difference. We need our healthcare staff to persevere!

Write up some notes/cards – please do not seal your individual note envelopes, if you use any.
Deliver them to: Inside front entrance of Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital or mail them to: Aspirus
Divine Savior Hospital & Clinics, P.O. Box 387, Portage, WI 53901 ATTN: Kari Due – Community Health
Click Thru Job Fair
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing recruitment but the workforce development system is dedicated to helping you find the talent you need. The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin is hosting a Click Thru Job Fair on Wednesday, January 27 as part of a statewide, unified approach to let job seekers know there is still opportunity available in their local area!

How will the fair work and how can you participate? Local workforce teams will collect recruitment information for up to 75 companies and will distribute those electronically to local job seekers registered on

Additionally, the recruitment materials will be available on our website (  

Any company wishing to participate must pre-register by completing the survey at

After registering, you will need to send your company’s recruitment flyer in a PDF format no later than January 19, 2021. All flyers must be a 8.5” x 11”, one-sided / one-page document in portrait layout (this is very important and will facilitate merging documents together in a readable format).

Flyers should include company name, location, logo, details about how to apply, positions, wages, benefits, etc.
•         Contact information if a job seeker would like to reach out directly to someone at your company
•         Your Equal Opportunity statement
PDFs should be forwarded to Erin Bechen ( no later than January 19, 2021.

Finally, be sure to post your available positions on for additional visibility!  
Spread the word about Portage!
Use #portagewi 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.
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.
Text PACC to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Chamber events
Text PORTAGE to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Portage events
Join a Service Club - Meetings subject to change
Rotary - Meets Mondays 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; 4th Tuesday only during July and August
Women's Civic League - Meets 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Wauona Trail Women's Club - Meets 3rd Monday of the month at 11:30am at Dino's Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd. (Sept-May)
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |