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All Blog Entries by Laura Kocum Writer-Marketing

Laura Kocum is a marketing and public relations consultant based in Madison, Wisconsin.

There are currently 108 blog entries published by Laura Kocum Writer-Marketing.

The holiday weekend is here, and if you're still finishing your shopping, several Madison area businesses have great options to please everyone on your list!

For the foodie:

REAP Food Group is offering their annual "Taste of Wisconsin" store through today.  Visit their office on 306 East Wilson Street, and take advantage of all kinds of locally grown treats. Create your own gift basket, and take pride, knowing that you're supporting sustainable, local agriculture. The gift recipient will love the delicious assortment of foods like granola, pickles, beets, sunflower oil, popcorn and more! Pair it all with a Love Wisconsin coffee table book, and your gift is sure to please. 

REAP Food Group is a non-profit in Madison, dedicated to growing good

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As the holiday season begins and the snow starts falling, South Central Wisconsin is full of places to go to enjoy a night out.

Holiday Light Show in Janesville

Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville is just a short drive from Madison, but offers one of the largest light displays around.  The gardens include 20 acres of beautiful scenery and, beginning this weekend, they will light it all up for evening enjoyment. This year's display will include more than 500,000 lights, a record for the gardens. Walk through the paths, enjoy more than 100 lit archways, search for the decorated evergreens (there are more than 100!), see decorated garden obelisks, and all kinds of individual displays. Santa occasionally makes a stop at the Rotary Gardens, and is

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Here's a new spin on trick-or-treating- Cave of the Mounds is encouraging guests to bring their costumes underground. This weekend, through Wednesday, October 31, all ages are invited to explore the hidden treasures that sit beneath Blue Mounds.Cave of the Mounds is located roughly 30 minutes southwest of Madison. The cave was first discovered by accident in 1939, when miners blasted through the limestone hiding it. Since then, the cave was designated a National Natural Landmark, and areas of the cave were opened for visitors to tour and explore the magnificent paths underground.  Today, visitors can tour the cave, study the fossils found inside, and enjoy biking and hiking trails surrounding the cave's entrance. 

This weekend, visitors will enjoy

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 The Blackhawk Ski Club is thriving and, as fall begins, the club is preparing to welcome new members. With six alpine skiing and snowboarding trails and miles of cross country skiing trails, more than 5 miles of mountain bike trails, 60 acres of land, even targets for biathlon participants, the club aims to make winter weather fun, and to make summer trails worth a visit, too. Blackhawk Ski Club is located in the Town of Middleton, on Blackhawk Road. It was founded 71 years ago by a group of ski jumpers who were seeking more space to practice. Today, the club sits next to Pleasant View Golf Course. It has expanded its offerings and aims to teach new generations to love the outdoors.

"I wanted my kids to learn how to ski, and this was the perfect

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Sometimes it takes a turn of events for you to find your passion. For Grant Priehs, a move to Madison was the impetus to explore new opportunities and do what he loves.

Priehs left work as an Art Director at a fast-paced marketing agency and began a successful career as a handyman in Madison. His company, Honey Do Handyman Services, has provided a rewarding way to help others. “Every homeowner has a list of things they notice every day - small tasks or updates that they just never get to; their ‘Honey-do’ list. But when you’re selling your home, you don’t want to have potential buyers leaving a showing with a dozen things they’ve noticed,” he says.

Priehs enjoys helping people complete projects they may not have the time or ability to complete on

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Saturday opens the 10th Annual Agora Art Fair at the Fitchburg Agora. Greek for "gathering," the Agora is a retail space surrounded by natural prairie and beautiful scenery at 5500 E. Cheryl Parkway. Beginning at 10 a.m., more than 100 vendors will be set up, and ready to display their creations for all to see. 

The vendors are all local or regional. Come enjoy their creations, ask questions, and learn more about their artistic process. "We want visitors to take in art for the senses: a beautiful mix of art, architecture, nature, music, food and community!" says Steve Leverentz, coordinator for the festival.

The Agora Art Fair is a friendly place, and visitors enjoy meandering through the tents, shopping for the perfect piece, and experimenting

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When you think about home improvements, it's common to think of the aesthetic work. Many times, the first upgrades are adding solid surface counter tops, wood flooring, or updated paint colors. These changes are all significant, and add value to your home. But while they make a beautiful impact, they will not save you money. Your monthly bills will see the greatest reduction by making changes to the energy efficiency of your home. 

Focus on Energy partners with 108 participating statewide utilities to make these cost savings possible. Their programs include simple things like swapping out old light bulbs for energy efficient models, providing incentives for the purchase of a Smart Thermostat, and they also include more significant projects, like adding

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As the summer season begins to wrap up, local community theaters are ready to open the curtains and showcase the productions they've been practicing all summer. Dane County has no shortage of arts entertainment. The Overture Center for the Arts hosts big name traveling productions, and a long list of local theater groups, including Children's Theater of Madison and Forward Theater. And while these productions are always excellent, there is another crowd of theater groups worth checking out.

The Oregon Straw Hat Players offers amateur theater that is well worth a visit. The group produces a variety of shows throughout the year, and offers a full musical performance each summer. This summer they've been working on Hello Dolly, and will provide the final

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In Wisconsin, the rate of obesity has doubled in the last 15 years.  The Wisconsin State Journal discusses the epidemic in a recent article, and notes that Madison is one of the healthier areas of the state. One of the reasons for Madison's healthier situation? The city has beautiful parks scattered all over town, and park use includes more exercise opportunities.

Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) saw a need in the youth community for more physical activity, and decided to use the parks to encourage more movement. With this in mind, they launched the Fit2Go program in 2013. The program connects area parks with a mobile fitness kit. A large van is packed with toys and equipment to make fitness fun. The decorated van travels all over the city,

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There is a party planned on Saturday, and all are invited. With live music, fun and games, the 3rd Annual West Fest promises to be a fun way to spend the day. West Fest is designed to celebrate diversity and build community. Elver Park offers the perfect venue. The park offers beautiful nature trails, a variety of sports options, an indoor shelter, playgrounds, and, of course, a splash pad, which will be key in keeping things cool.

With community-building in mind, the event planners have created a long list of contests and activities to include all ages. Events include a Father/Son basketball tournament, lots of free carnival games for kids, a bouncy house and live music and entertainment.  Seniors are encouraged to come out for BINGO (with prizes).

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