LUMBERTON — Voters have spent a month gushing over a bevy of beautiful babies, and the results are in.
Carl Bullard and KarLeigh Freeman have been crowned the most beautiful babies in Robeson County.
The two garnered the most votes in the seventh annual Beautiful Baby Contest, which kicked off on April 13. It was created by the Robeson County Partnership for Children to raise money for its Smart Start initiative and other early childhood development programs.
For winning, Prince Bullard, the son of Victoria Bullard, will receive a crown and Princess Freeman, the daughter of Erick Freeman and Kendra Rhodes, will get a tiara. They will each also each receive $100, a trophy, and a over-sized car magnet.
The runner-ups, who will be featured in the Robeson County Partnership for Children’s 2015 calender, included Christopher McKaden Paige; Kaleigh Bullard; Joel Flippen; Stephen Larry Sullivan; Sunday Grace Sullivan; Malachi Sincere Jones; Haydon Anthony Locklear; Ski’Lyrica Nevaeh Brunson; Trinity N. Locklear; JaHari Roberson; and Caynon Reign Haywood.
The calender will include professional portraits of the winners by Vanessa G. Photography and is expected to be published in the fall.
Sponsored by Josh Whitley of State Farm Insurance, this year’s contest drew 20 submissions and raised almost $11,000 for the Robeson County Partnership for Children, surpassing the organization’s goal of $10,000. The registration fee was $20 and each vote cost $1.
Lori Noonan, fund development and communications specialist for the Robeson County Partnership for Children, said she was pleased with the results.
“We’ve had some pretty good numbers. We had more candidates last year but the dollar amount is still very close,” she said. “They were all so cute this year, of course, they’re are cute every year. We had a good mixture of boys and girls and we also had parents who did individual fundraiser events to help the partnership.”
Noonan said that the organization plans changes to the contest next year.
“We’re going to throw a ball where we announce the prince and princess, and that will be an opportunity for parents to try to get as many votes as possible prior to the event,” she said. “We’re going to be looking for people who are interested in helping to plan and coordinate the ball and the competition for next year.”
People interested in volunteering for the 2015 Beautiful Baby Contest should call Noonan at 910-738-6767, or visit the Robeson County Partnership for Children office at 210 E. Second St. in Lumberton.