The Robeson County Partnership for Children, Lumberton, NC, the local organization that oversees state Smart Start efforts, held its second annual Beautiful Baby Contest. The contest served as both a fundraiser and vehicle to raise public awareness on how the partnership helps children learn the skills they need to be successful when they enter school. The previous year’s contest included 66 contestants and generated more than $5,000 for the partnership to use to support Smart Start services. The contest was open to children up to age 5 who are Robeson County residents. A color or black and white photo of the child — preferably a close-up — was required with an entry form and $15 registration fee. If the photo was taken by a professional photographer, a consent form from the photographer authorizing its publication was also required.
Contestants could be viewed on The Robesonian web site and after the registration deadline had passed, photos were published in the Mother’s Day edition of the newspaper. Votes cost $1 each. There were two first place winners — a boy and girl. Each received $100, a parade magnet, and a crown or tiara. Other winners received: second place, $75 and a trophy; third place, $50 and a trophy; and fourth through sixth places, $25 and a trophy. A calendar featuring the 12 babies receiving the most votes was sold for $10. All of the contestants were pictured in the back of the calendar.