Today, the Million Moms Challenge, in collaboration with ABC News, the United Nations Foundation, Disney Baby and Anne Geddes, announced the winner of our Imagine Me & You -- a photo contest to connect and celebrate mothers around the world.
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Our wonderful winner is Allison Dearstyne, from Dunkirk, Md. Allison, a ninth grade history teacher, her husband, Richard and their 2-month-old baby girl Clara Noel have won the opportunity to travel to Sydney, Australia for an exclusive photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Anne Geddes.
"I'm moved by how many mothers have come together through this contest," said Geddes. "The Million Moms Challenge designed this contest to celebrate the dream of mothers everywhere for healthy, happy babies who will grow to reach their full potential. I'm looking forward to meeting the Dearstyne family and continuing to be part of this strong community of mothers helping mothers."
Anne Geddes chose the winner, one of 12 finalists from hundreds of entries from expectant moms around the U.S. who submitted photos of their "baby bump" along with an original, creative message written on their bellies capturing their wishes and dreams for life with their little one. Allison's entry read "May You Stay Forever Young," a lyric from a Bob Dylan song she loved as a child.
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Allison and her family are now gearing up for the long flight to Australia in the spring. But for a chance to have a personal shoot with Anne Geddes, it will be worth every minute! In the course of entering the contest, Allison has grown in her knowledge and compassion for maternal and child health issues.
From Allison: "I love Anne Geddes' work and I especially love this cause. It was exciting to see my friends vote knowing that each 'Like' on the Million Moms Challenge Facebook page raised money for moms in need. I'm honored to be part of such an awesome project -- what a perfect place for our first family vacation!"
Thank you to all of you in our Million Moms Challenge community, who entered the contest and who shared and gathered momentum.
Realizing that a healthier tomorrow for our world starts with healthy moms and babies today, the Million Moms Challenge engages millions of Americans with millions of moms in developing countries around issues that affect pregnancy, childbirth and children's health. You are a part of this and we thank you!
Contest finalists won a year's worth of Huggies brand diapers, and each semi-finalist received a gift basket from Disney Baby, a new brand from Disney Consumer Products, which provides parents with the essentials they need to bond with baby at every stage, valued at $500. Disney Baby has also pledged to donate $50,000 to several of the largest NGOs helping moms and babies throughout the world.
Check out the 12 semifinalists below: