New year, new Gerber baby! On Wednesday, the iconic baby food brand announced the winner of the eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search contest: 18-month-old Lucas Warren from Dalton, Georgia.
A panel of judges chose Lucas out of a pool of more than 140,000 entrants to be the 2018 Gerber “Spokesbaby.” His family will receive $50,000, and he will appear in promotional posts across Gerber’s social media throughout the year.
“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” Bill Partyka, president and CEO of Gerber, said in a press release. “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
The original Gerber baby was Ann Turner Cook, who recently celebrated her 91st birthday. A black-and-white sketch of her face from 1927 became Gerber’s iconic logo. Over the past 90 years, the company has received “countless” photos from parents who see their own babies in the famous sketch.
In 2010, Gerber launched the Photo Search to celebrate these adorable babies and choose a special winner. Baby Lucas is the first winner with Down syndrome.
“This is such a proud moment for us as parents knowing that Lucas has a platform to spread joy, not only to those he interacts with every day, but to people all over the country,” his mom, Cortney Warren, said in the press release.
“We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world ― just like our Lucas!” she added.
Congratulations, baby Lucas!