Baby with Down’s syndrome becomes face of US baby food giant Gerber
Gerber started the annual photo contest in 2010.world Updated: Feb 09, 2018 13:12 IST
Eighteen-month-old Lucas Warren has become the first child with Down’s syndrome to be named the “Spokesbaby” by the US baby food brand Gerber in its 91-year history.
Lucas from Dalton, Georgia managed to win the judges this year with his “glowing and giggly smile” and was chosen among more than 140,000 entries for the eighth Gerber Baby Photo Search contest, Gerber said in a press release.
“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” Gerber’s president and CEO Bill Partyka said in an official statement.
Gerber started the annual photo contest in 2010.
Lucas’ family will get a $50,000 prize money and Lucas will appear on Gerber’s social media channels and featured in its ads through the year.
“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,” Lucas’ mother Cortney Warren was quoted as saying in the company’s statement.
“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.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. The extra copy changes how a baby’s body and brain develop and can lead to mental and physical challenges.
Many on social media, including relatives of people with Down’s syndrome and advocacy groups, welcomed the announcement.
Oh, my heart! Lucas, the first baby with Down Syndrome to be picked as Gerber baby!!!! Nearly 90% of unborn babies like Lucas are aborted because of their Down Syndrome. My goodness, what joy the world is missing!!! pic.twitter.com/Fvjv1D3COt— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) February 8, 2018
He'adorable! It's about time society embraces #specialneeds people and celebrates these #awesome people through #mainstream #Advertising and #media. He's so cute! Way to go #LucasWarren and here's to #Gerber for choosing him! https://t.co/Q9EBbNdwjK— Trina Ann Pion (@TrinaAnnPion) February 7, 2018
Ann Turner Cook, who recently celebrated her 91st birthday, was the original Gerber baby. A black-and-white sketch of her face became Gerber’s iconic logo in 1928.