The first round of votes have been cast and readers have chosen 32 of the area's cutest babies to move on to the second round of voting in The Crescent-News' annual Cutest Baby Contest, in which readers have the opportunity to pick the area's cutest newcomer.
There were 89 babies entered into this year's contest and the top 50 percent of those receiving votes from readers have moved on to the second round.
The second round of voting begins today and will conclude on Monday, Feb. 4, after which the top 50 percent of vote-getters will move on to the final round. Final voting will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and end Monday, Feb. 18.
The baby that receives the most votes in the final round of voting assumes the Cutest Baby honors. Photos of the entrants can be seen and voting can be done at www.crescent-news.com. Votes cost 50 cents each and can also be placed by mail (see ads with voting forms in upcoming newspaper editions). The contest's complete rules are posted at www.crescent-news.com and available at The Crescent-News office.
Prize amounts have been doubled this year as the winning baby receives $1,000 and has his or her photo featured on the cover of the Smiling Faces section. The second-place vote-getter in the final round of voting will be awarded $500 and the third-place winner receives $250. Photos of the second- and third-place winners will also be published on the inside cover of the Smiling Faces edition. The entrant receiving the most votes in round two will also receive a free 16x20 family portrait from Rod Brown Photography, Defiance.
Twelve entrants will also have their photos reproduced in a glossy 2013 Cutest Baby Calendar. Photos of the three entrants receiving the most votes in each of the rounds will be featured, as long as their photos are of adequate quality. Any baby that finishes in the top three in more than one round will be included once. Photos of three (or more) babies will be selected by The Crescent-News from among all entries.
All babies entered in this year's contest will have their picture published in the Smiling Faces edition, which will be published on Feb. 22.
Proceeds from the voting are used to support The Crescent-News' Newspaper in Education program which supplies newspapers to area classrooms. Currently, teachers are using more than 400 papers each day in classrooms the distribution area.