Walmer Park Baby of the Year winners announced

2016-11-02 06:01
Walmer Park Shopping Centre Marketing Manager Deveda Bloem hands over the cheque to Pat Fields of Ithemba Lam Baby Home.                     Photo: SUPPLIED

Walmer Park Shopping Centre Marketing Manager Deveda Bloem hands over the cheque to Pat Fields of Ithemba Lam Baby Home. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE 25th Annual Walmer Park Baby of the Year competition has closed and the winners in each age category were announced at a fun-filled prize giving event held this past Saturday at Walmer Park Shopping Centre.

“Once again the response to the Walmer Park Baby of the Year has been overwhelming. This year we had 700 of the cutest babies and tots in PE as entrants,” said Deveda Bloem, Marketing Manager at Walmer Park.

This popular annual event began 5 weeks ago with babies’ photos taken at the in-centre photographic studio managed by professional photographer, Debbie Louw.

This year’s judges were Zoleka Ngumbela (representing Walmer Park Shopping Centre), Debbie Louw (from Debbie Louw Photography, who has been the official photographer of the Walmer Park Baby of the Year Competition for the past 15 years), Adri van der Walt (representing Media24, the Media Partner of the Baby of the Year competition under the PE Express banner), Mark Mously and Gale Burrow (from Dischem Walmer Park) and Nathalie Moolman (representing Pick n Pay Walmer Park).

The judges had the very exciting, yet extremely challenging, task of selecting the top 40 finalists from all the photographic entries received. The first round of judging took place on Monday, October 24.

The five judges were “locked” in a boardroom and had the difficult task of judging all the photographs taken by selecting only 100 semi-finalists from all 700 entries. Each judge then voted on the semi-finalists photos and the 10 with the highest scores were chosen as the top 10 finalists in the age category.

The judging did not stop there. On Wednesday, October 26, the judges had the wonderful opportunity to meet all the cuties in a baby “interview”.

At this judging session, the judge’s main criterion was to look for a baby that was healthy, alert and happy. At this session, the entrants were scored on their entry photographs, their alertness and their general appeal.

As a “feel good” element to the competition both Walmer Park Shopping Centre and Debbie Louw from Debbie Louw photography commit to supporting a baby’s home in our city. Every year, R5 from each entry fee received is collected and donated to a Babies’ or Children’s organization dealing specifically with abused or abandoned children.

This year the beneficiary was Ithemba Lam Baby’s home located in Forest Hill. Ithemba Lam Baby Home is a temporary place of safety for babies. It has been operating since 2009. Pat Fields, Ithemba Lam committee member was delighted to receive the cheque to the sum of R3500 which was raised during the competition.

“I trust that these monies will go far in improving the lives and services currently being provided by the loving people at Ithemba Lam Baby’s Home. We thank them for the influence they have in our city and trust that our donation will make a difference,” said Deveda Bloem

The top 4 winners and their runners-up announced on Saturday were:

The winner in Age Category 0-6 months was: Alunamda Monakali, with 1st runner-up: Brahm Aucamp and 2nd runner-up: Khadija Peterson.

The winner in age Category 7-12 months was: Joshua Sage, 1st runner-up Michele Matthee and 2nd runner-up April Abrahams.

For age category 13-18 months, the winner was: Leah Quantoi, 1st runner-up Mia Haggard and 2nd runner-up Akhanani Mgatyelwa.

In age category 19-24 months the winner was: Zihle Mbande, 1st runner-up Lexi Grace Woods and 2nd runner- up Simembale Tsotso.

Fantastic prizes were awarded to the top tots chosen in each age category from our incredible sponsors: Dischem, the Baby Gym, Toddlers Workshop, Edubaby, Francarlo Designer Goldsmith, Kodak Express, Debbie Louw Photography, Edgars, Pick n Pay, Baby Builders, Circular Health, Rain Africa, Dulce Café, Capitec Bank, Old Mutual, Happy Little Humans, Bon Bushi Oils, Avent and Cherubs.

Parents who would like to collect the entry photographs of the competition, must please note that they will be ready for collection from today (Wednesday, November 2) from Kodak Express Walmer Park located near Dischem.

Don’t forget to “Like” the Walmer Park Shopping Centre Facebook page to view all the pictures taken at the final prize-giving last Saturday.

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