Gerber Chooses baby with Down Syndrome as this year’s Gerber baby, and he has already stolen hearts!
Every year, Gerber chooses a Gerber baby in their annual contest which first started in 2010. This year’s Gerber baby is Lucas Warren, a 1 year old from Dalton, Georgia who is the first Gerber baby with Down Syndrome.
“He's very outgoing and never meets a stranger,” Lucas's mom, Cortney, told TODAY Parents. “He loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”
Lucas’s mom Cortney said she didn’t think much before entering her son into the Gerber contest. It all happened so quickly. All she did was simply post her beautiful son’s picture on Facebook and used the contest’s hashtag.
Cortney and her husband Jason were shocked to hear that their son had been chosen amongst over 140,00 entries to the 218 Gerber Spokesbaby.
It was Lucas’s smile and happy facial expressions that made Bill Partyka, the CEO and President of Gerber more than confident that he was the one. He had captured their hearts instantly.
“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” said Partyka. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
“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,” dad Jason Warren said. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
Gerber as a brand has been thanked and labelled as a powerful brand that is able to change the future of the disability community by valuing their input and using them in their advertising. The founder of Changing the Face of Beauty0 Katie Driscoll said that her organization was committed to the equal representation of those with disabilities and that they should be able to participate more in advertising and in the media in general.
“We believe if brands represent children with a disability, they are communicating their value to our society,” said Driscoll. “Moves like this move us closer to a more inclusive world.”
Cortney hopes to see that he son is not just seen as a child with Down Syndrome, but also a beautiful smile and an injection of energy through his lively nature and love for music.
She says that he is Lucas before he is 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.”