Alumni Profile: Amanda and Matt Strickland

BY HANNAH CRITES
Staff Writer

Twin boys of an alumni couple were announced as the winners of the Gerber Photo Contest in January.

Ten-month-old Levi and Paxton (Pax) Strickland won the contest on Jan. 15, 2014, which includes a $50,000 cash prize that the family has put into the boy’s college fund. Parents Matt and Amanda Strickland of Wernersville, Penn., graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2012.

The boy’s winnings were announced on Fox News Channel’s morning show Fox and Friends. They are the first set of multiples to win. The boys also won an opportunity to star in a Gerber advertisement.

The contest occurred on Gerber Baby Food’s Facebook page where there were over 156,000 entries submitted.  Any child could enter as long as they were between the ages of birth to preschool. A panel of judges selected the grand-prize winner based on which entry appeared to demonstrate Gerber’s mission.

“The Gerber Photo Search celebrates our core mission at Gerber, to nourish happy, healthy babies, and recognizes that every baby is a Gerber baby,” Integrated Marketing Manager for Gerber Bernadette Tortorella said in a statement released by Gerber.

“There were so many entries that fit our criteria, but the judges were in awe of the Strickland twins,” Tortorella said. “Now in its fourth year, this is the first time that our Gerber Photo Search Grand Prize-winning entry features twins – which makes it twice the fun!”

Amanda saw the advertisement for the contest on the page and decided to “give it a shot.” She found out via a voice mail on her phone and screamed in excitement, surprising Matt, who thought something bad had happened to the twins.

“Pax is very laid back,” Amanda told Fox and Friends. “He’s very calm like his name which means peace. And Levi is just rambunctious and keeps us on our feet.”

Both parents were very excited and couldn’t wait to share the news with family and friends after having to keep it secret after receiving the news that they had won.

“It feels great,” Matt told Fox and Friends. “We feel so blessed to have both of these guys.”

Check out the photo here

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