LITTLE Lexie Russell was is the toast of the town after being named the Rotherham Advertiser’s 2013 Child of the Year.
The 20-month-old, from Greasbrough, came out top from among five category winners when she was picked as the town’s top kid by a panel of judges.
Hundreds of children entered the competition, which was hosted at the Matalan store at Parkgate shopping, and readers voted in their thousands for their favourites, but there could only be one winner from each category and one overall victor.
Bailey Doane was the 0-9 months catergory winner, Lexie won the 9-24 months girls category, Tyler Wadworth won the 9-24 months boys category, Macie Phillips won the 2-5 years girls category and Reon-Jack Mitchell won the 2-5 years boys category.
The five category winners were invited to an awards ceremony at Wickersley Cricket Club on Friday, where they were presented with their prizes and the overall winner was announced.
Judges Andrew Mosley, Rotherham Advertiser editor, and Billy Smith, area operations manager for Saville’s Management Resources of Parkgate Shopping, had the tough job of selecting the overall winner.
Prizes included a framed portrait of their winning photograph, a trophy, balloon and teddy courtesy of the Rotherham Advertiser, a complimentary children’s meal at The Pastures Lodge, Mexborough, and complimentary biscuits for all guests courtesy of Cakes by Kate Butler.
Lexie also won a large framed portrait, a £50 voucher to spend at Matalan, and a birthday party for ten at The Pastures Lodge.
Lexie’s proud parents, Adam Russell and Linsey Hickey said: “This is the first time we've entered Lexie into a competition so we are over the moon that she's won.
“Every parent wants and expects their child to win, and we were pleased enough that she had won her category, so when they announced her name as the overall winner we were ecstatic.
“She’s not really a big smiler, but she’s very photogenic.”
Event organiser Tracie Midgley added: “We have been overwhelmed by the number of entries we have received once again this year.
“I would like to thank all of those that entered and voted.
“It was a very tough decision to select an overall winner, but I’m sure you'll all agree that each of our category winners and our overall winner, Lexie, deserve their winning titles and will join me in saying well done to all of them.”