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The entries for this year's Design an Ad have been drawn and judged and the results are coming in Wednesday's News-Gazette.

News-Gazette Media's Director of Business Development Jackie Martin, who has been spearheading the contest for 15 years, breaks down the numbers:

— 100 local businesses participated.

— 2,500-plus entries in total from 30 area schools.

— $500 grand prize for the school and $250 prize to the student with the overall winning ad, as selected by an independent panel of judges.

— $100 for each grade category winner.

"Teachers enjoy having their students participate, and there is an abundance of creativity, originality and thought put into their drawings," Martin said. "I would like to thank all the advertisers and teachers that participate in this contest and make it possible for us to continue with this each year."

We've been running the contest since the early 1980s, Martin said, and students in grades 1 through 12 are encouraged to take part.

"Some of our customers remember doing design an ad when they were younger. Wow!" Martin said.

Year in and year out, students from Unity East and West elementaries and Monticello High School are recognized among the top artists.

Unity East and West art teacher Katrina Hanners said her students talk about it for a long time.

"They get so much joy in seeing their work displayed in the special section," she said. "I have even heard some of them say they feel like they are famous. It warms my heart to see their excitement."

Monticello art teacher Ryan Stripens concurs.

"I've been fortunate to have had a healthy number of students go on to pursue careers in art throughout my time at Monticello High School, and I have no doubt that the little connections created by real world applications of art, like the Design an Ad experience provides, have played a role in their development."

— From now until April 17, voting is open for our 2019 People's Choice Awards. More than 1,000 area business were nominated in 175 categories.

Visit to vote for your favorites. The winners will be celebrated at an event June 11.