Kenadi answers a casting call … and wins

Kenadi answers a casting call … and wins
Kenadi Kamradt is incredibly beautiful.

And the last word one would use to describe her is vain.

Kenadi, the daughter of Jill and Korey Kamradt of Dakota Dunes, is the newest model from the region to gain national attention.

Not bad for a 3-year-old.

She has enjoyed the distinction of being one of only four children nationwide to serve as the newest faces of babyGap and GapKids.

The image of Kenadi and the three other kids had been displayed larger than life in windows of babyGap and GapKids stores across the country beginning Jan. 29. A new promotion apparently is planned by the store; the photos were taken down Wednesday.

Kenadi is the granddaughter of Donna and Chris Bernard of Hartington, NE. Her great-grandparents are Helen and Jerry Bernard of Vermillion.

The rare honor of having one's face displayed for all to see is naturally exciting for the Kamradt's immediate family.

But for Kenadi, it's really no big deal.

"We drove up to Sioux Falls last week to see her picture in the window (of the Gap store)," Jill said, "and I don't think she really cared. She was just doing her thing; I think she's really too young to even know that it's her picture in the window."

The Kamradts' adventures began last fall, while Jill was shopping online.

"I saw an advertisement for a casting call for a baby to be the next Gap model," she said. "I just took a picture of Kenadi and I entered it online."

Three weeks later, a Gap representative called Jill and told her Kenadi was among 20 finalists in the casting call contest.

Last October, Gap teamed up with KODAK Gallery, the leading online photo service, and the Rachael Ray show, to kick off the Casting Call contest. From October 8-24, parents submitted photos of their children online at

After the submission period closed, a panel of judges narrowed down the contestants from more than 800,000 entries to just 20 finalists – 10 babies (five girls and five boys) and 10 kids (five girls and five boys).

In early November 2007, the 20 finalists were flown to San Francisco to participate in a Gap photo shoot and received prize packages, including special gifts from babyGap, GapKids, KODAK Gallery and O, The Oprah Magazine.

"During the photo shoot in San Francisco, we didn't stay with her while they did the photography; the Gap had a place where we could watch, but we stayed back so she wouldn't focus on us while they were taking the pictures," Jill said.

"She was just great," she said. "I was very happy that she did well."

Voters across the country didn't see the professional shots, however, until the four winners were chosen. Citizens selected the four most beautiful Gap kids based on the snapshots submitted by their parents.

"The four children in various categories who received the most votes won," Jill said. "Kenadi received the most votes in the girl group for her age group."

Just before the photo shoot, Kenadi was pampered a bit. "They cut her hair – she actually had her first haircut there," Jill said.

And naturally, she was fitted with BabyGap clothing.

"And they just went off and did the photo shoot," Jill said. "It only took about 30 minutes."

The image of Kenadi evidently left a lasting impression with a majority of online voters from coast to coast.

"We wanted our customers to have the opportunity to participate in the selection process so after a panel of judges chose the finalists, we left it up to them to pick the winners," said Pam Wallack, president of babyGap and GapKids. "We received more than 500,000 votes for the finalists, and I'm sure it couldn't have been an easy decision to choose a favorite given how unique and adorable each of them are."

From Nov. 20, until Dec. 15, the American public voted on their favorite children, resulting in one winner in each of the four categories.

On Jan. 28, the winners were unveiled on the Rachael Ray show and received special prizes including a year's supply of babyGap or GapKids clothing, and a KODAK digital camera and printer, and some books.

"Once she was chosen as a winner, they flew her and the three others winners out to New York for a taping of the Rachel Ray show," Jill said. "She was on the show, and Rachel Ray actually announced that she was the winner on the show.

Kenadi will receive a year's supply of clothing from the Gap.

"They are going to send her one of the pictures from the photo shoot," Jill said, "and when she was on the Rachel Ray show, they had seven-foot-tall banners of all three of Kenadi's pictures, and last week, we received those in the mail."

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