Heavy voting in Observer Cutest Baby Photo Competition first round

in the Jamaica Ob
server Cutest Baby Photo Competition has started to pick up steam with more than 3,000 ballots already cast as the popular event moves into the final week of the first round.

A total of 82 babies are entered as the competition makes its return after a two-year hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Last Friday, Observer Marketing Department staff received another large batch of entries that will be counted today.

“We are so happy that our readers are totally engaged in this competition which is really a celebration of their children,” Observer Deputy Managing Director Natalie Chin said on Sunday.

Chin, who is also the newspaper’s head of advertising, marketing, and communications, said she and her team are looking forward to counting the ballots on September 30 when the first round of voting closes, after which the 10 babies receiving the most votes will go into a second round lasting another month. During that time readers are encouraged to cast more votes as the top three will be chosen for the final round of voting, which will close at the end of November.

This year’s winner will receive a three-night, four-day stay at Beaches Resort, $100,000 cash, plus other prizes provided by Cubbies Baby Wipes.

The 2019 competition was won by Jai’Lani Thomas, who was one-year-old at the time.

His mother, Latania Watson-Thomas, and father, Jason Thomas, said that they were very excited, particularly because it was their first time entering the hugely popular competition.

“One of my friends entered last year and then we decided that since we have our son we would enter to see how far we would go, and luckily we won,” Watson-Thomas said and expressed special thanks to the workers in the lab at Mandeville Hospital who voted for her son.

Dontae Laing, Jai’Lani’s older brother, was also happy for the win.

“I feel good!” he exclaimed.

Their grandmother, Icema Frieth, who was also in attendance at the presentation at the Jamaica Observer’s Beechwood Avenue, St Andrew head office was elated and could not stop smiling.

That year the prize was $100,000 from the Observer, gift baskets with baby products from Kirk Distributors (Lovable and Johnson & Johnson) and Lasco Distributors, a three-night/four-day stay for a family of four at Beaches Resorts, and a microwave from Appliance Traders Limited.

Then one-year-old Nathan Walsh placed second, while two-year-old Jahmari Clarke placed third.

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