Happy Grandparents Day to all the grandparents out there who make each day special with that suprise visit, or freshly baked cookies and the kind of hug that only a grandma or grandpa can give.

Celebrated since 1978 -- when President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day National Grandparents Day -- the day of honor, and those family members it honors, should not go unnoticed. Whether biological or not, grandparents and grandparent figures play a crucial role in society.


PHOTO GALLERY | View more Berkshire County grandparents here!

According to the U.S. Census Bu reau, 2011 survey, 2.7 million grandparents were responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2011.

So take a moment today, perhaps buy a bouquet of forget-me-nots -- the official flower of National Grandparents Day -- or sing "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa," -- the official song of the national holiday -- and thank that special grandparent, or grandparent figure, who gifted your life with love and precious memories.

In honor of the special day, The Berkshire Eagle asked readers online to submitt photos of their grandparent, or grandparents, to be entered to win a $50 gift card to Big Y Supermarkets.

Congratulations to Ashley Cla vette and her grandmother Mary Savage who were chosen at random to win The Eagle's Grandparents Day contest. Ashley has won a $50 grocery gift card courtesy of Big Y Supermarkets.

Ashley submitted the photo above of her grandmother Mary and her son Hunter Allen, 3, taken at the Butterfly Museum in Deerfield.

"We lost my grandfather, Mary's husband of almost 50 years in February," Ashley wrote in an email. "We have come to realize how special these wonderful moments are. Happy Grandparents Day!"

View more Berkshire County grandparents here!