Lucas Warren – The New Face of Gerber

by John McKiggan

2018 Gerber Baby Search

With thousands of hopeful parents and babies seeking to be featured in Gerber ads each year, the Gerber Photo Search contest has captivated the nation every year since its 2010 conception. The 2017 search proved no different as parents submitted over 140,000 photos of their smiling babies, with the hope that their child would be featured on social media channels for the remainder of the year as the face of Gerber.

USA Today reports that the 2018 Gerber Baby has found a face in 1-year old Lucas Warren from Dalton, GA. Mother Courtney Warren submitted a picture of her son sporting a polka-dot bow tie and his now-famous smile, where he was chosen as a finalist—and later, the winner—of the photo search this year.

Winner – Lucas Warren

“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” Bill Partyka, president and CEO of Gerber, said in a statement. “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.”

What makes Lucas’ win groundbreaking, however, is not just his keen fashion sense or his award-winning smile. Lucas Warren is the first winner of the Gerber baby photo search contest to have Down syndrome, and many have lauded Gerber for Lucas’ progressive win, as well as for the enthusiasm shown by Gerber during the announcement of his victory.

For mother Courtney Warren, the most important part of this win is to highlight the positive impact that Lucas will have for the visibility of people with Down syndrome. “We hope this opportunity 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 — just like our Lucas,” Lucas’ mom Courtney Warren said in a statement.

As the Grand Prize winner, Lucas’ family will receive a prize of $50,000 and be featured on Gerber’s social media channels throughout the year.

Down Syndrome

While many people possess 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell—totaling 46 chromosomes, with 23 from each parent—approximately one in every 700-1000 babies born in the United States will, like Lucas, possess an extra copy of chromosome 21 in their cells. The presence of this extra chromosome can result in a variety of traits characteristic of Down syndrome, including physical differences, delayed development, and other health complications.

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