Gerber chooses a Gerber baby in each year in their annual contest and they first started in 2010. This year they have selected, Lucas Warren, a one-year-old baby from Dalton, Georgia. He is the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome.
Lucas’s mom, Cortney, told TODAY parents that, “He’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger. He loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”
She also added that she didn’t think much about it before entering her son into the Gerber contest. She did only posting her beautiful son’s picture on Facebook and used the contest’s hashtag.
Lucas had been selected from more than 140,000 entries to the 218 Gerber Spokesbaby and this was a surprise for Cortney and her husband Jason.
Bill Partyka, CEO, and President of Gerber selected Lucas because of his smiles and happy expressions. Lucas has captured their hearts instantly.
Partyka said, “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby. This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
Lucas’s dad Jason said, “ 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. They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
Gerber has been thanked and labeled as a powerful brand as it has the ability to change the future of the disability community by valuing their input and using them in their advertising. According to the founder of Changing the Face of Beauty Katie Driscoll, her organization was committed to the equal representation of those with disabilities and that they should be able to enroll more in advertising and in media in general.
Driscoll said, “We believe if brands represent children with a disability, they are communicating their value to our society. Moves like this move us closer to a more inclusive world.”
Cortney wants you to see her son not just as a child with Down syndrome, but also a child with a beautiful smile and an injection of energy through his lively nature and love for music.
She also said that he is Lucas, before he us the child with Down syndrome.
“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.”