ABC reported on Wednesday that Gerber proclaimed the winner of its eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search to be 18-month-old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia. Warren is the first child with Down syndrome to attain the title of Gerber Baby (which, because we’re well into the new millennium, is now called a “Spokesbaby”) since the contest’s original incarnation appeared more an 90 years ago
The president and CEO of Gerber, Bill Partyka, said in a statement on Wednesday, “Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby. 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.”
Below is the original picture that Lucas’ mother, Courtney Warren, submitted, which was selected out of more than 140,000 photos of babies. Courtney said she hopes Lucas’ newfound spotlight “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.”
In addition to the Gerber platform, Fox News reported that Lucas’ family will receive $50,000 as part of their grand prize winnings.