You are here

Bill Jones, Editor
4:54 am CST January 16, 2020

Love is in the air.

Can you smell it?

It smells a lot like crayons, Elmer’s glue, paper and — achoo! Sigh. Glitter.

At least, it smells that way when we’re wading through the countless entries area children have submitted year after year to 22nd Century Media’s Valentine’s Day Coloring Contest. The competition annually spreads the holiday’s love both near and far, with contest entries doubling as valentines for both active military and veterans over the years.

Every year, we provide a blank heart. Children get creative. A few lucky entrants win prizes. More get to see their work in print.

And this serves as the official announcement that the beloved tradition is back.

The Orland Park Prairie is asking children ages 3-12 to get creative by downloading the form from the homepage of to create just one outstanding valentine per entrant and send it our way.

Entries must be mailed to or dropped off at 22nd Century Media Southwest Chicago c/o Editor Bill Jones, 11516 W. 183rd St., Unit SW Office Condo #3, Orland Park, IL, 60467.

The deadline to submit entries is 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. Publisher 22nd Century Media’s Southwest Chicago staff will review all entries and select winners in each of three age groups — ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The winning entries are to be published in The Prairie’s Feb. 13 edition, along with other favorites, at the editor’s discretion.

For this year’s contest, we will be picking one winner in each age group from across all seven of the towns and schools in our southwest suburban coverage area: Orland Park, Tinley Park, Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, Homer Glen and Lockport. Each winner is to receive a $25 gift card for Gizmos, 66 Orland Square Drive in Orland Park.

Winners will be chosen based on creativity and neatness. Entries must use and fit on the form provided.

As in past years, 22nd Century Media Southwest Chicago is to team up with an area organization to help distribute the finished valentines — minus the entry form information — to nearby veterans.

For more information, call (708) 326-9170 ext. 20 or email