With a winning smile and contagious giggle, 1-year-old Lucas Warren of Dalton became Gerber’s first spokesbaby with Down syndrome this week.
“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” Lucas’ dad Jason Warren told People. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
Lucas was chosen from a pool of 140,000 entries in the 2018 Gerber Photo Search. After posting a photo of Lucas smiling from ear to ear on Instagram, the family was ecstatic to hear he was the big winner.
"Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby," Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber, told TODAY. "This year, Lucas is the perfect fit."
While Lucas is the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome to earn the honor since the contest began in 2010, mom Cortney Warren wants the world to know “he’s always Lucas first.”
“He's got an awesome personality and he goes through the milestones of every child... we're hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he'll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability,” she told TODAY.
In addition to bagging the coveted Gerber spokesbaby title, the family was awarded a $50,000 cash prize.