Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia, is the 2018 Gerber “spokesbaby”—and the first with Down syndrome in the contest’s 90-year history.
“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s long-standing heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” Gerber Products Co. President and CEO Bill Partyka told “Today.” Fremont, Michigan-based Gerber is a leading maker of baby food and other baby products.
Lucas’ warm smile and excitement in his mother’s photo entry got the entire Gerber team excited, Partyka said. For the 2018 contest, Gerber received about 140,000 entries.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 7, 2018
Lucas’ mother, Cortney Warren, told “Today” she entered the contest on a whim. But now, Lucas has received a prize of $50,000, which his family intends to put toward his education.
Warren says she hopes her son will not just be seen as a baby with Down syndrome, but also as a funny, energetic child who loves music and socializing.
“He may have Down syndrome,” Warren says, “but he’s always Lucas first.”
Cortney Warren and her husband, Jason Warren, said they’re hoping their son will look back on this and be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.