The brand with the most eminently recognizable logo in the baby food aisle named a new spokesbaby Wednesday morning, and it represented a major first for the company. Gerber announced the winner of its 2017 baby photo contest is 1-year-old Lucas Warren, a boy from Georgia who will be the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome, Today reported.
Warren’s family will get a $50,000 cash prize for winning the contest. The baby’s mother reportedly entered his photo into the running on a complete whim in 2017, with Lucas ultimately beating out almost 150,000 other children to win the big one. The company announced Lucas as the winner on its Facebook page.
Lucas and his family were on “The Today Show” on Wednesday morning to share their story and celebrate the victory.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 7, 2018
Jason Warren, the boy’s father, said he wanted it to be a symbolic victory for children with special needs.
"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," the father said. "They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else."
Down syndrome is a relatively common birth defect caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s genetic material. The CDC estimated about 6,000 babies, or 1 in 700, are born with Down syndrome every year in the United States. The condition can cause many potential problems, including short life expectancy, increased likelihood of congenital heart failure and hearing loss.