It's 2018 and for the first time in Gerber history, the world-famous food brand has chosen an adorable infant with Down syndrome to be their spokesbaby.
World, meet Lucas Warren — a sweet one-year-old boy from Dalton, Georgia who is the newest face of Gerber.
The food brand made the announcement on Wednesday, congratulating Lucas on winning the eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search.
According to a press release, Lucas' photo was chosen out of more than 140,000 entries and caught the judges' attention thanks to the infant's "glowing and giggly smile." Now, in addition to winning the title of 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby, Lucas and his family will also receive $50,000 US.
Cortney Warren and her husband Jason entered their son into the contest just for fun after noticing Gerber's call out for submissions. The photo they chose perfectly captured Lucas' personality, which Cortney described to Today.com as playful and outgoing.
"Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby," said Bill Partyka, the CEO and president of Gerber. "This year, Lucas is the perfect fit."
Gerber's first national photo contest took place in 1928 and resulted in the brand finding their official trademark.
The brand then launched their annual Baby Photo Search in 2010 to celebrate all babies and toddlers. Their decision to name Lucas as the 2018 spokesbaby proves they're being true to their mandate by being diverse and inclusive.
For reference, here's Riley Shines, the 2017 spokesbaby.
And this is Isla Welch, Gerber's winner in 2016.
Now that Lucas is the new Gerber spokebaby, his parents hope this platform will help increase awareness and understanding of the special needs community.
"We hope this opportunity ... educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world – just like our Lucas!" Cortney said, according to ABC News Channel 9.
However, the proud mom hopes her son will be seen as more than his disability. "He may have Down syndrome, but he's always Lucas first," Cortney told Today.com. "We're hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he'll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability."
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