Brand New Gerber Baby Couldn’t Be More Adorable

Georgia toddler with Down syndrome wins annual photo contest, makes history — and charms all of America

The internet was rife with cooing adoration upon seeing and hearing of Lucas Warren’s most recent accomplishment.

The 18-month-old toddler from Dalton, Georgia, won Gerber Baby’s Photo Search. The boy has Down syndrome — the first to earn the coveted honor.

The winner of Gerber’s annual photo search, which began in 2010, was revealed Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today” show. (The Gerber baby drawing goes back many more decades.) Within minutes, the engaging smile of the spunky new “spokesbaby” charmed the anchors and captured America’s heart.

Lucas faced stiff competition in the well-known contest. Gerber chose the child’s photo out of more than 140,000 submissions in the nationwide search.

His mother, Cortney Warren, entered the contest on a whim, “Today” reported. The winning photo, posted on Instagram, is of a broadly smiling Lucas in a smart polka dot bowtie and mint-colored polo.

In a segment filmed in the family’s north Georgia home, dad Jason described his wife’s exuberant reaction upon getting the news in the mail that Lucas had won the contest.

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“As a father, seeing your child succeed in life and go to school is something I’m looking forward to,” said Jason in the “Today” interview, overcome with emotion. The proud dad is a helicopter repairman and served in Georgia’s National Guard for six years, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

“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 opportunity to change the world — just like our Lucas!” his mom told Fox 5.

As part of the contest, the baby’s image will be used across Gerber’s social media platforms. He will also receive $50,000, which his parents plan to put toward his education.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gerber / Warren Family)