Find typos, win a gift card

Downtown Oak Park tries to turn negative into positive after mistakes in annual map

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Officials from the Downtown Oak Park business association were “startled” last week when they discovered that their annual map had more than 20 errors in it.

So, to try and turn the situation toward the positive, DTOP is hosting a contest. The first 100 people who find at least 10 of the mistakes and bring in their corrected map will win a $25 gift card, good at 75 different businesses in the village’s downtown.

“Obviously, we really regret the errors,” Pat Zubak, head of DTOP, said in a press release Tuesday. “But there’s no profit in crying over spilled milk. Instead, we’re looking to milk as much benefit as possible out of this humbling moment.”

The contest will run up until May 15. Those interested can bring their maps in to the Oak Park Visitors Center, 1010 Lake. The erroneous maps were already mailed out to village residents, according to the press release, but DTOP staff has already gone out and retrieved the ones that were delivered to local businesses.

DTOP plans to reprint 30,000 copies of the corrected map by April 28. For more information on the contest, call 708-383-4145 or go to


Reader Comments

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Posted: May 4th, 2011 1:47 PM

Does pointing out that they misspell "Lodging" in the navigation bar of the Community Links page of the website gain you any points toward the card?

Barry from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 12:29 PM

Can I still get a copy of the map to participate in the contest?

OP resident from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 1:16 PM

Please pardon me but: the contest is going till May 15th and the new map is coming out on April 28. Does that count as a mistake? I guess we'll have to wait and see...

OP Editor from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 26th, 2011 10:40 PM

Ah, I see what you were getting at. I agree--it's definitely a fun way to deal with the errors, especially when so many organizations would be inclined to deflect blame. It's refreshing when one just says, "Oops. We messed up." (Even better when there's a prize involved!)

OP Resident  

Posted: April 25th, 2011 1:54 AM

Gotcha, OP Editor. Congrats on your big win. Spend it wisely. My "clever campaign" comment was in reference to what I saw as the refreshingly honest way that DTOP acknowledged their blunder and then successfully put a fun spin on the situation. I guess I didn't grasp the serious nature of this matter and will defer to your expertise.

OP Editor from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 24th, 2011 8:37 PM

OP Resident #2: As a professional editor who has claimed my $25 gift certificate, I can guarantee you that this was not a "clever campaign." The errors were clearly made when certain parts of the map were updated during the layout process but others were overlooked. It was an understandable but costly mistake--printing four-color, glossy maps ain't cheap.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 4:58 PM

I'll disagree the "other" OP resident about DTOP's annual map. A clever campaign had people really looking it over. It's a great way to update residents about recent openings & a nice guide for visitors. This TIF expenditure makes sense. Can't say the same about any others because the TIF books can only viewed by the public once a year and only for a few hours. That's an unacceptable policy & has cost us plenty for the outside legal counsel. Did the firm receive a "No-Bid" contract?


Posted: April 23rd, 2011 1:19 PM

Lemons to Lemonade. Thanks DTOP for the gift certificate.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 21st, 2011 7:43 PM

I now wish I had saved that map -- when I received it, I wondered why Downtown Oak Park spent money on that! Seemed like a waste!

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