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The Advance Woman of Achievement was featured in a documentary about her charity at the Big Apple Film Festival

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Elissa Montanti is the subject of an in-depth story about how the Arrochar resident created the Global Medical Relief Fund.

Titled “Let’s Make a Miracle”, the film depicts Montanti’s powerful and emotional journey as she comes to the rescue of children who are victims of war and natural disasters.

It was recently shown at the Big Apple Film Festival in Manhattan.

They were Alice Barrett Mitchell, producer and actor, Nancy Merritt Bell, writer and editor, director and playwright, Michael McKinley, author, director, journalist and producer, and Anthony D’Antuono, musician/composer, photographer, videographer. and editor/graphic designer.

A song written by Montanti, “Let’s Do A Miracle”, was recorded years ago at D’Antuono’s studio and a special friendship was formed. D’Antuono accompanied Miontanti on a series of trips to Bosnia, witnessing the very beginnings of the Global Medical Aid Fund.

“Let’s Do a Miracle” made its big screen debut at the Big Apple Film Festival. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

The documentary shows how, over the past 25 years, Montanti has helped more than 500 children from more than 60 countries injured by war, natural disasters and human cruelty – including returning four children from Tanzania to refit their prostheses.

Since then, she has hosted approximately 1,500 follow-up visits.

“I started this charity 25 years ago and I wasn’t sure where I was going,” said Montanti, founder and president of the Global Medical Relief Fund and a woman of progressive achievement.

“I did it on my own for a long time and ’60 Minutes’ found out about the charity,” she added.

Over 25 years and 60 countries later, children suffering from albinism arrived from Tanzania and whose limbs were amputated due to lack of pigment. As a result, they were stolen from their homes in the middle of the night by wizards who believed that limbs severed from children with albinism were magical – and profitable.

Over the years, Montanti has been to Iraq, Turkey, Bosnia, Haiti and the Syrian border in hopes of helping children.

“Let’s Do a Miracle” was included in the Big Apple Film Festival. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

“The Film Festival is where you get the opportunity to get your film out there for people in the industry to see,” Montanti said. “It was my starting point for a borderline thrill of screening my documentary ‘Let’s Do A Miracle.’ It is all about making a difference in this life while we are in it as guests. It’s a little awkward to share your life because you’re transparent for all to see. But to tell the story of how and why I got to where I am today, it had to be.”

Elissa Montanti, third from left, and her sister, Rita Kornfeld, second from left, and Elissa’s cousins ​​at the Big Apple Film Festival. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

Montanti hopes her story will be picked up by a major streaming network.

Elissa Montanti with fellow members of Mercury Rising, a pop rock band including Nat Seeley, Bill Moser and Michael McMahon. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

“It’s a tough sell because politics, crime and celebrity are what they’re looking for the most. But I remain hopeful,” she adds.

Montanti says she is grateful to her family, board members and friends for their unwavering support and being there.

Larry Liedy, left, and Elissa Montanti’s family and friends attend the premiere of “Let’s Do a Miracle” at the Big Apple Film Festival. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

“It meant so much to me,” she said. “Kenan, my hero (and her son), is the reason I found my life’s mission and my tower of inspiration and strength by my side. The title of the documentary ‘Let’s Do A Miracle’ is named after the song I wrote 25 years ago when I started the charity.”

Elissa Montanti and her adopted son, Kenan Malkic. (Courtesy/Elissa Montanti)

“We provide air travel and coordinate all medical care and in-room dining at the Dare to Dream House, where much healing and love is happening under its roof. Some arrive in wheelchairs and others have to be taken off the plane. Everyone becomes an ambassador and experiences America at its best. We are making a difference one child at a time.”

Earlier this year, Montanti arranged for the arrival and medical treatment of young Omar Abukwaik, who was wounded in Gaza, where the war between Hamas and Israel began in October.

He lost his arm when debris flew through the air as a result of a bombing at his home, which was destroyed. Portions of his leg and body were also badly burned and his face was badly bruised by shrapnel. His entire family was killed in the bombing.

THE ORIGINS OF THE FOUNDATION

In 1997, Montanti contacted the ambassador in Bosnia, with an offer to send school supplies and toys to children victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ambassador responded by reading a boy’s letter. Bosnian child Kenan Malkic lost both arms and a leg when he stepped on a land mine.

She recruited airlines, hospitals, doctors and prosthetics companies to donate her services. Shortly after, Kenan and his mother arrived at JFK airport.

During their four-month stay with Montanti, Malkic received two new arms, a new leg and a new life.

Shortly after Montanti founded the non-profit organization Global Medical Relief.

“Let’s make a miracle”, tells the story of how Montanti helps children affected by war, natural disasters, birth accidents or who are victims of violent superstitions.

After helping Malkic, Montanti contacted airlines, hospitals and governments around the world to help the children who called her.

And so the Global Medical Relief Fund was born, and with a generous donation from Tyler Perry, The Dare to Dream House, where Montanti hosts these children, came into being.

Malkic, the first child Elissa helped, is an executive board member at GMRF and a vice president at Credit Suisse and helps Montanti.

Their story is told in the film, as are the four children from Tanzania.

Montanti is a musician whose musical talents set the Global Medical Relief Fund in motion 25 years ago. Her music was used as the film’s soundtrack.

Montanti’s passions include music, painting and poetry. Her poetry has won recognition from the Poetry Society of America.