HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Phil McGraw, noted psychologist and host of the syndicated daytime talk show DR. PHIL, and Robin McGraw, his wife and best-selling author of her first book Inside My Heart, have announced the creation of a new honor, the "Heart of a Woman" Award, which is to be given to women who live their lives with passion and purpose and make a major contribution to the world by helping others. The first honoree, Elissa Montanti -- "The Saint of Staten Island" -- will receive her award on the DR. PHIL show broadcasting on Oct. 24, 2006 (Check local listings for time and channel). In addition to the jeweled "Heart of a Woman" pendant, Ms. Montanti will receive a cash donation from E-LOAN (R). The "Heart of a Woman" will be awarded a total of four times during the 2006-07 season. Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw choose the recipients. Robin McGraw had the idea to create the "Heart of a Woman" Award soon after the publication of Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose. The book, McGraw's first, was released earlier this year on Sept. 12 and became the #1 hardcover/advice book on The New York Times Best-Seller list. "There are two reasons why we wanted to create this award," said Robin. "The first is to acknowledge some of the many women out there who are doing great work in their community and who enrich the world by sharing their personal gifts with all of us. The second is to encourage others out there by making them realize that these are just ordinary women, like themselves, and that they too can live their lives with passion and purpose. But the choice must be a conscious one and it must be theirs." "I can't say enough of how proud I am of Robin," said Dr. Phil. "Just after she finished writing her first book and promoting it across the country, she's not willing to just sit back and kick up her heels. For her to want to encourage others to live their lives fully and creatively is her gift to all of us." "We are honored to support the wonderful efforts of Elissa and the 'Heart of a Woman' Award program," said Mark Lefanowicz, president of E-LOAN (R). "We believe that every individual matters and we are inspired by those who give selflessly of themselves to help those in need. E-LOAN(R) was founded to bring honesty, respect and dignity to the consumer and back to the lending and savings industry." Elissa Montanti, the first woman chosen for the "Heart of a Woman" Award, is known to many in her community as "The Saint of Staten Island." Over the past decade, Montanti has worked tirelessly to help children in war-ravaged Bosnia who lost their limbs from landmines and explosions during the bloody conflict there. Thanks to her tireless efforts, many of these children have been brought to the United States and fitted with prosthetic devices. She has since expanded the scope of her efforts beyond Bosnia and now works for children in war-torn Iraq, as well as those suffering from natural disasters such as the earthquake in Pakistan and the tsunami that devastated nations rimming the Indian Ocean. The "Heart of a Woman" Award itself is a jeweled pendant, the design of which was overseen by Robin and executed by the jeweler, Tacori. The white gold chain supports a crescent-shaped heart with eighteen diamonds, from which is suspended a brilliant pink sapphire. The inspirational message, "Live With Passion and Purpose," is engraved inside. Inside My Heart is the story of Robin McGraw's life, from her beginnings growing up in an alcoholic family to her 30-year marriage to Dr. Phil McGraw, and how she made the choices that brought her to where she is today. Robin appears regularly on DR. PHIL and has co-hosted many television events with her husband, including The Boston Pops, Christmas in Washington and The J.C. Penney JAM ... The Concert for America's Kids and has been a featured guest on a number of primetime specials. Robin is a much sought-after public speaker and is also heavily involved as a board member and goodwill ambassador for The Dr. Phil Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization that is committed to helping disadvantaged children and families. E-LOAN (R) is an online consumer direct lender dedicated to providing consumers with a simple, easy and open way to obtain mortgage, auto loans, home equity loans, and online savings and certificate of deposit accounts. Since its launch in 1997, E-LOAN (R) has drawn upon its pro-consumer values to improve the lending and online savings experience in revolutionary ways. E-LOAN (R) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Popular Financial Holdings, Inc., which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Popular, Inc. (www.popularinc.net), a full service financial services provider with operations in Puerto Rico, the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. DR. PHIL is directed by Paul Casey. Carla Pennington-Stewart is the executive producer. The supervising producers are Angie Kraus Bell, Kandi Amelon Sawyer and Kathy Giaconia. DR. PHIL was created by Harpo Productions, is produced by Peteski Productions in association with CBS Paramount Domestic Television and distributed by King World Productions. It is broadcast on over 212 stations representing 99.9% of the national market, as well as 40 other countries and/or territories. Since its debut, in September 2002, the series has been ranked second among all talk shows, and consistently ranks among the Top Ten of all syndicated strips (Source: NSS Ranking Report).
SOURCE DR. PHIL