WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- American Mothers held their annual luncheon at D.C.'s Willard Hotel Saturday to honor moms making a difference.
WUSA9's Debra Alfarone was the Master of Ceremonies for the event and handed awards to many of those special moms.
Three women received the Mother of Achievement award. It recognizes outstanding women whose positive influence, talents and community service have made a significant impact in the lives of children and families.
The first honoree was Pam Kanaly, author, speaker and former national television talk show co-host. Kanaly brims with passion in empowering women as beacons of light in their families and world.
As co-founder of Arise Ministries, a national organization, Kanaly instructs thousands of single and married mothers in parenting well. Kanaly takes the lead as one of Oklahoma's foremost advocates for mothers. Her service to Oklahoma expanded after being appointed by Governor Fallin as a Commissioner for the Department of Human Services.
Kanaly is also co-founder for both the statewide single mothers' conference Survive 'N' Thrive and the regional leadership conference Ignite, where mothers gain insight in how to make a difference in their homes and communities. Kanaly and her husband Rich reside in Edmond, Okla. Her fondest title is Grammy Pammy to seven grandchildren.
The second honoree was Elaine Spears Hill. Hill grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. After college, she married an Army officer. During her husband's 20-year Army career, Hill earned an Masters Degree in Psychological Counseling and worked for years in the social services field.
At age 52, Hill was diagnosed with breast cancer. During recovery she dedicated the rest of her life to helping others diagnosed with the disease. She began by co-founding Y-ME Chattanooga, an affiliate of the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization.
For more than 22 years this nonprofit organization has provided breast cancer education, support and therapy groups, financial assistance and educational workshops for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
In addition to recognition for her work with breast cancer survivors, Hill has received numerous community service awards, and has served on more than 15 nonprofit boards.
The third honoree was Cathy Keating. Keating grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she married Frank Keating, had three children and embarked on the never-ending challenge of balancing life as a wife and mother with community service and career.
For the 43 years and counting of their marriage, her priority has always been family first. Community service has also been a focus in her life since childhood, but her most significant contributions occurred while serving the state of Oklahoma as First Lady.
Most specifically, her efforts were concentrated on the rescue and recovery of those effected from the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah bombing, where Keating planned and organized the International Prayer Service, then published "In Their Name," which was on the New York Times bestseller list. All proceeds were directed to "Project Recovery." She currently strives to be a "Mother of Achievement" in all aspects of her life.
American Mothers International President Joan Braitsch then honored Robin McGraw with a crystal reward as America's Mother of Achievement. Robin McGraw, philanthropist, entrepreneur, television personality and two-time number one New York Times bestselling author, is committed to her mission to inspire women to live their best lives.
McGraw has worked for many years with a variety of philanthropic causes that serve to improve the lives of women and children. She is a founding board member of The Dr. Phil Foundation, a national spokesperson for C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), and a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. In Sept. 2014, McGraw was named the National Celebrity Spokesperson for Girl Scouts of the USA.
With the launch of her own charitable foundation 'When Georgia Smiled' McGraw set out to enact real change by creating and advancing programs that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault live healthy, safe and joy-filled lives.
The foundation launched in October 2013 with the introduction of its inaugural program, The Aspire Initiative, a domestic violence program which aims to reduce the level of intimate relationship violence in the U.S. and instill the importance of bystander responsibility.
In Feb. 2014, McGraw proudly announced the launch of Robin McGraw Revelation, a purpose-driven lifestyle brand that brings to live her unique life philosophy of self-care. The brand debuted with record-breaking success with a collection of skincare products and has already expanded to include fragrance, lipgloss and candles, among other lifestyle products. Robin McGraw Revelation supports When Georgia Smiled by donating 100% of the net profits from select products to the foundation.