Eight-month-old Brooklyn Metzbower from Abingdon was named 2013 Harford's Most Beautiful Baby as part of the fourth annual "Celebree Presents Harford's Most Beautiful Baby" contest, hosted by Harford Family House and SARC.
As the winner of the contest, Brooklyn received more than $11,000 in cash and prizes, including a full year of pre-school valued at $9,700 donated by title sponsor Celebree Learning Centers.
The grand prize package also featured a $1,000 cash prize from Susquehanna Bank, a photo session with photographer Anni Oh valued at $1,150, a six-week swim session with Kid's First Swim School, eight classes to MyGym and gift certificates from Tiny Toes, Subway and Mars Food Stores.
New this year, prize packages were also awarded to first runnerup Declan Jones, 12 months; second runnerup Gwenyth Elkins, 21 months; and third runnerup Callan Mercaldo, eight months.
A panel consisting of five judges, including Karyln Hughes of Merle Norman Salon and Spa; Michelle Rubino of Jones Junction; Karen Hensley RNC-PEDS, BSN of Upper Chesapeake Health - Family Birthplace; Tracey Morgan of Saxon's Jewelers; and Michelle Horner of GIRLEEgurlz, chose the winner from the 10 finalists who received the most votes out of 237 Beautiful Baby contest entries. The grand prize winner was announced at an award ceremony on May 11 at the Center Court of Harford Mall as part of a day-long event.
In addition to the Beautiful Baby contest, four other contests were held and the following winners selected:
Mother/daughter look-a-like: Kayleigh Heaps and daughter, Adrianna, age 4;
Father/son look-a-like: Douglas Stanley and son, Logan, age 1;
Parent/child look-a-like: Elizabeth Pennington and son, James, age 3; and
Baby crawl race: Andrew Whitacre, 10 months.
Each secondary contest had a $100 cash prize in addition to other prizes that included spa packages, gym memberships, gift baskets and gift certificates to area retailers and restaurants. Shoppers at Harford Mall were entertained throughout the day by a Chung's Martial Arts demonstration and a performance by the Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance.
"We are grateful for the generous support of local businesses and our community which made this year's Beautiful Baby contest and event the most successful yet," Harford Family House Executive Director Joyce Duffy said.
This year's sponsors included Celebree Learning Centers, Jones Junction, Upper Chesapeake Health, Growing Smiles, APGFCU, Harford Mutual, Susquehanna Bank, Mars Supermarkets, Bel Air Athletic Club, Top Flight Martial Arts, My Gym, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Day Spa, Harford Mall, Saxon's Diamond Centers, Kleins Shop Rite, WebIXI, Girlee Gurlz, Kids First Swim Schools and 970 WAMD.
All proceeds from the Beautiful Baby contest and associated events go to support Harford Family House and SARC, two area non-profits that primarily provide services to local women and children.