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Dee Montague: Helping to Strikeout Hunger

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

Since 2009, SEPTA has collected more than 65 tons of food for Philabundance - 19 tons in 2012 alone - through the "Stop Hunger at Your Station" food drive. "A key to the food drive's success has been the support of our employees," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. "Our employees promote the drive to our customers and rally within their districts and divisions to collect the most contributions for Philabundance."

Deneil "Dee" Montague, a bus operator and Union Section Officer from the Frontier District, is one of the Authority's employees who is "driven" toward helping others, especially through the Stop Hunger at Your Station campaign. For the past two years, Montague, a 19-year SEPTA veteran, has collected money from her Frontier colleagues to purchase food for the drive. In 2011, she collected $1,632; in 2012, she upped that total to $1,744. Although the smallest bus district by numbers, Frontier collected the most money of all the Authority's districts during both of these years, thanks to Montague's efforts, which included coordinating two barbeques with her colleagues and soliciting employees' time and food contributions.

For her commitment to the food drive, Montague was selected to represent SEPTA and throw out the first pitch at the Phillies/Diamondbacks game at Citizens Bank Park on August 5 - "Phans Pheeding Phamilies Day" at the ballpark. Among those joining Montague in throwing out the first pitch were Philabundance sponsors and Bill Clark, the organization's CEO.

"This was a cool experience. I was honored to be here," said Montague. "Hunger is so widespread - we are all touched by it. It was great to see what others are doing to help Philabundance."

In addition to throwing out the first pitch, Montague and her husband Alex, a 22-year SEPTA employee who currently works in the Service Planning Department, enjoyed a pre-game reception hosted by Phillies ace Roy Halladay and watched the game from a Hall of Fame Club suite.

While Montague enjoyed her day at the ballpark, her mind wasn't far from the cause that brought her there. "I spoke to Philabundance representatives and learned about volunteer opportunities at the Distribution Center. I am looking into a family activity and maybe something for my District."

"We applaud Dee for her contributions to our food drive," said Casey. "I know that her commitment to the cause inspires not only her Frontier District co-workers, but all SEPTA employees."

Frontier District Operator Dee Montague was selected to represent SEPTA and throw out a first pitch before a recent Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.

Montague (second from right), Philabundance sponsors and Philabundance CEO Bill Clark make their pitch to strikeout hunger.

Montague (far right) and her Frontier colleagues were SEPTA's top "Stop Hunger at Your Station" contributors two years in a row.

Montague (second from right) and Philabundance sponsors were guests at a meet and greet party with Phillies great Greg Luzinski and ace pitcher Roy Halladay (fourth and fifth from left).

Montague and her husband Alex, a member of SEPTA's Service Planning Department, celebrated a Phillies' win with the Phanatic.