Every year, Gerber holds a contest to find a cute baby to represent the company.
This year, 1-year-old Lucas Warren was picked from 140,000 entries to be the 2018 Spokesbaby for the baby-food manufacturer.
Lucas lives in Dalton, Georgia, and his dad is in the Georgia Army National Guard.
Spc. Jason Warren is an aircraft powertrain repairer with Company D, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment in Marietta.
Warren and his wife, Cortney, submitted a photo of Lucas sitting in an overstuffed chair and sporting a polka-dot bow tie with a big smile.
The smile won over Gerber, the company’s chief executive and president Bill Partyka told The Washington Post.
Lucas was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and his parents hope this opportunity brings awareness to the special-needs community.
“We hope this … educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have potential to change the world,” Cortney Warren said in an Army news release.
Spc. Warren said he wants Lucas to help motivate others.
“They might think if Lucas can do this, what can I do in my life?” he said in the release.
Lucas will be featured on Gerber’s social-media channels, and the family will receive $50,000.
The company, founded in 1927, originally held a contest to find a cute baby to represent the advertising campaign. An artist submitted a sketch of what became the official trademark.
This prompted families to share their baby photos with Gerber, who launched the official photo competition in 2010. Lucas is the eighth baby to represent the baby-food company since the contest began.
This month, Warren plans to reenlist in the Army for another six years, according to the Army release.
“I hope one day Lucas will see I was in the military and has a sense of pride,” he said.