Posted on February 4, 2011

Oh Baby! North Toledo Tot Wins $25,000 Gerber Grand Prize

Kirk Baird, Toledo Blade, February 4, 2011

Every mother thinks her baby is the cutest in the world.

But Tahisha Williams-Townsend, a 32-year-old North Toledo resident can prove it.

Her 2-year-old daughter, Mercy Townsend, was recently chosen as grand-prize winner of the first Gerber Generation Photo Search. The online contest to find a new advertising face as part of the company’s Gerber Generation marketing campaign was launched in June and ran through November. The competition was open to children up to 4 years old, and Mercy won among nearly 220,000 entries nationwide.

“The judges saw something in her they really liked,” Mrs. Williams-Townsend, a nursing assistant, said. “I see it every day and now the rest of the world gets to see it.”

Mercy, along with her mom and dad, Damion Townsend, also 32 and a musician, will be taking a trip to New York later this month for a photo shoot for the Toledo toddler. Mercy will also receive a $25,000 college scholarship for placing first.

Cathy Abramski, a spokesman for Gerber, said the judges selected Mercy “because of her visual appeal and expressiveness.” Mercy will star in a Gerber Generation print advertising campaign that advocates a healthier future for children through good nutrition, she said. The Gerber advertisement starring Mercy will be featured in select national parenting magazines beginning in May.