The first event in Silas Kapner’s baby book might not be learning how to walk or talk. It might be winning a Gerber college fund.
Social studies teacher Sheryl Freedman and counselor William Kapner entered their four-month-old son Silas in the fourth annual Gerber Generation Photo search in mid-August. The contest, which is sponsored by the Gerber Products Company, gives children four years old or younger a chance to win a 10,000 dollar college starter fund based on the number of Facebook votes received.
Judges will also pick one child based on appearance to win a 50,000 dollar cash prize and the opportunity to star in a Gerber advertisement.
Freedman saw the contest on Facebook and entered Silas on a whim, but she likes the idea of starting a college fund for her son, she said.
“That fear of not knowing how much college tuition will be by the time he’s 18 is pretty frightening,” she said. “I figure anything could help.”
Parents can enter their children in one of six milestone categories: birth+, supported sitter, sitter, crawler or preschooler. Silas is a contender in the supported sitter category. Voting opened Sept. 4 and ends Sept. 24.
Everyone can vote once a day — Freedman votes for Silas every morning, she said. She encouraged staff and students in all her classes to vote for him and said she appreciates the support.
“Because my husband and I both work at Whitman, he’s a Whitman child through and through,” Freedman said. “He’s part of the community.”
SGA president Jacob Rosenblum, who has promoted the contest on his Facebook profile, is adamant that students at Whitman should vote for Silas.
“He’s adorable and deserves to be famous,” Rosenblum said.
Before casting their vote, Facebook users must first “like” the Gerber Facebook page. Each contestant has a profile on the page that includes his name, his parents’ names, his city and his favorite Gerber food flavor.
Though Kapner doesn’t have a Facebook account and relies on Freedman for information and contest updates, he provides moral support, he said.
“We think, like any parents, that our child is really cute so we just wanted to see how he would do,” Kapner said. “Why not let the boy start earning some of his own money?”