Gerber has long been known for their annual “Gerber Baby” photo contest. This year, they made history with their selection for spokes-baby.

The company announced that this year’s winner of its annual contest is one-year-old Lucas Warren from Dalton, Georgia. What’s special about him, you ask?

Lucas is the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome, and he couldn’t be happier!

Photo Credit: Instagram, Gerber

In a visit with The Today Show, his parents shared just how important this victory is. “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,” said Lucas’ dad, Jason.

Cortney, Lucas’ mom, decided to enter the competition on a whim, and was overjoyed by the news. “He may have Down syndrome, but he’s always Lucas first,” she says. “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.”

Photo Credit: Instagram, Today Show

The contest was started in 2010; prior to that, Gerber had always used a sketch of the original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook (now 91), as their official trademark. That trademark was established in 1931.

Essentially, Lucas is the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome across the company’s nearly 90 year history. It’s a move that’s being applauded by people everywhere because it’s so important to increase both awareness and representation. Plus, we all get to see Lucas’ gorgeous smile on Gerber products for the whole next year!

h/t: Mashable

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