There’s nothing better in life than to be appreciated. And our Mother’s Day Contest entries have revealed that moms have pretty big cheering sections out there.

Children, husbands, co-workers, friends and sisters-in-law all wrote in to tell us about special mothers who deserve to be pampered and celebrated for all that they do. We received more than 40 submissions to our essay contest and choosing a winner wasn’t easy. Luckily, we were able to secure two additional prizes to recognize these special women.

The grand-prize winner will receive dinner at Lala Rokh on Beacon Hill and two tickets to see the Boston Ballet’s performance of Fancy Free. Our first runner-up will also receive a pair of Boston Ballet tickets. And our second runner-up will receive a delicious gourmet chocolate Turtle Basket from Phillips Candy House of Boston.

Grand-Prize Winner

Cristy Beemer of Durham, N.H.

– Submitted by: Reagan Haynes of Natick

“When I discovered our 1-year-old had a rare genetic disorder that would require major surgeries, Cristy called. My husband was out of town; I was alone with my son, 3-year-old daughter and my fear. ‘Come. We’ll feed you. We’ll get up with the kids in the morning.’

Only the best kind of friend knows just what you need exactly when you need it.

In the summer of 2009, Cristy learned she was pregnant. A month later, she had her third miscarriage. Soon after, Cristy, age 39, learned she had an aggressive type of breast cancer. Her body has responded wonderfully to treatment at Dana Farber, which includes aggressive chemo and a double mastectomy. She’s still getting treatments.

Throughout, she has remained a loving mother, wife and friend. She has even excelled in her job as a University of New Hampshire professor.

The girl needs a break. Nobody deserves it more than her.”

First Runner-Up

Jen Lee of Walpole

Submitted by Ella Fleming of Waltham

“I have a friend and coworker, Jen Lee, who is a wonderful, strong woman and mother of six great kids. When her youngest was only 2 months old and her oldest age 8, her husband left for a tour in Afghanistan for a year and a half.

She wanted Christmas to be special since he wasn’t going to be around for the next one and she [threw] a big party with lots of presents and decorations. When he left, they were working with contractors to put an addition onto their home and she had to pack up her children and move into a rented house next door.

She was on a roller coaster of emotions and stress. She had to cut down her hours as an operating room nurse to be home with the kids. Her world was turned upside down, and she still made raising children look easy. She never does anything for herself and always puts her children first.

I think it would be nice for her and her husband to go out for a gourmet lunch and to see the Boston Ballet. They have some catching up to do!”

Second Runner-Up

Barbara Perlo of Newton

– Submitted by: sons Jared, Devin and Oliver Perlo

“I would love to see my mom win this contest. She has had a tough year and deserves TLC since she is the best mom ever. She has raised me and my three siblings to be thoughtful, giving and compassionate people by teaching us by example.

This year, my grandpa (mom’s dad) died. Mom got the news right before my sister’s final soccer banquet where my sister was getting an award. Mom attended the banquet and celebrated my sister’s accomplishment and then told us about the funeral the next day. She always puts us before herself.

Her name is Barbara and this is her email. From her three sons – (we hope she wins this!).”

Thanks to all who participated in our contest this year. And Happy Mother’s Day!