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Massachusetts baby wins $10,000 in Gerber photo contest

Posted by Kristi Palma  November 15, 2012 10:15 AM

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Justin Ridzon, 9 months, of Lowell, did his first media interview this week.

When his dad handed him the phone to talk to us here at Boston.com Moms, he grabbed at it and said "Eh! Eh!"

"He's smiling at me," said his dad, Richard.

We expected nothing less of a baby who was one of just six winners nationwide in a Gerber photo contest.

justingerberblog.jpg

The Ridzons entered this photo of Justin into The Gerber Generation Photo Search 2012 contest. The contest drew more than 308,000 photos.

A panel of judges picked the grand prize winner, Mary Jane Montoya from California. She won $50,000 and will appear in a nationwide Gerber ad.

Then the nation voted on Facebook for the six "Milestone Prize Winners." The prize-winning photo of Justin that Facebook fans loved so much was taken in his crib at his home in Lowell. His parents, Richard and Vanna, made him smile by "making spooky faces," his dad said with a laugh.

Justin won in the category of "supported sitter." He won $10,000.

The family's reaction?

"We are very, you know, surprised and excited," said Richard. "It's not expected that something like that can happen to you."

What will the family do with the money?

"We intend to keep it for his school," he said.

And what's this father's advice for taking an award-winning photo of your baby?

"You need to have a sense of patience," said Richard, adding, "Try to capture the moment, you know, the moment of joy."

Gerber photo

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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