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Georgia boy chosen as first face of Gerber baby food with special needs

"This is such a proud moment for us as parents, knowing that Lucas has a platform to spread joy, not only to those he interacts with every day but to people all over the country,” said Lucas’ mother, Cortney Warren. (Gerber)

DALTON, Ga. (WTVC) - On Wednesday, Gerber announced a sweet new addition to the family with the results of its eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search -- and a baby from Dalton got the coveted "spokesbaby" honor.

Gerber says baby Lucas Warren won the judges over with his glowing and giggly smile and was chosen among more than 140,000 entries.

As the grand prize winner, Lucas’ family will get $50,000, and he will be given the coveted title of 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby and take a front seat on Gerber’s social media channels throughout the year.

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

Gerber says it has received countless photos over the past 90 years from parents who think of their little ones when they see Gerber’s iconic baby logo.

In 2017, the logo was refreshed to pay homage to the original black-and-white sketch of the first Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, who just celebrated her 91st birthday.

Inspired by the adorable baby photos received from proud parents, Gerber launched its first official Photo Search in 2010 and has continued celebrating babies and toddlers every year since.

"This is such a proud moment for us as parents, knowing that Lucas has a platform to spread joy, not only to those he interacts with every day but to people all over the country," said Lucas’ mother, Cortney Warren. "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!"

In addition to the grand prize winner, Gerber honored 12 winners in the “Giggles and Wiggles” and “Best Dressed” categories. The “Giggles and Wiggles” winners will receive $500 and a year’s supply of Gerber and Purina products. The “Best Dressed” winners will receive $500, courtesy of Gerber Childrenswear, $250 worth of Gerber Childrenswear and a year’s supply of Gerber products.

Local president of the Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society Carmen Penney said, "We are thrilled to hear Gerber chose one of our own to represent their iconic brand this year! In a conversation with Nestle this week, I was so excited to hear Lucas would be treated just like all their other spokesbabies. This is what we strive -- true acceptance, not just tolerance. We thank the Warren family and Gerber for promoting awareness and inclusion by sharing Lucas with the world!"

Update: We interviewed Lucas and his mom & dad on GMC FOX Edition Thursday morning. Go here to watch the interview.

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