The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Rail Link, is pleased to announce they will be donating nearly $75,000 to Livingston community organizations in December.
On December 7, 30 children from the local elementary school were treated to the Christmas Express. This train ride over the Bozeman Hill on the legendary Silver Cloud passenger cars was filled with music, entertainment and holiday cheer. The train was be decorated with all the holiday trimmings including lights, trees, wreaths, and even Santa paid the kids a visit.
Once the Christmas Express returned from its magical trip, the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Rail Link, made two special donations to deserving community organizations. $20,000 was donated to the Livingston Food Pantry of Park County and $10,000 was donated to Park County Rural Fire District #1 to assist with their Santa on the Fire Truck program. The check presentation for both organizations took place at the Historical Livingston Depot.
The Livingston Food Pantry of Park County mission is to eliminate hunger in Livingston and Park County by acquiring and distributing healthful food to individuals and families in need. The pantry takes a leadership role in developing a strong, sustainable, local food system, addressing the root cause of hunger in Livingston and Park County and supporting food related economic development that drive the creation of jobs. No one is turned away at the Livingston Food Pantry.
The Park County Rural Fire District #1 Santa on the Fire Truck program started over 20 years ago and has grown into a four day program that serves 600-800 kids annually.
Stacy Posey, Montana Rail Link’s incoming president, said, “Livingston has a deep railroad history stretching back to 1883 and is a key hub in our network today. On behalf of our 1,200 employees, we are proud to provide the Christmas Express to deserving students and to partner with the Food Pantry and the Rural Fire Department to meet their missions.”
In addition to the events on December 7th, MRL will be distributing nearly 4,000 new sweatshirts to thirteen Montana schools located along their rail route, including 1,600 sweatshirts in Livingston. The sweatshirts are in the school’s colors and include the school’s mascot. MRL employees will be distributing the sweatshirts on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and MRL during school assemblies in December.
“This is our fifth year of distributing sweatshirts to Montana kids” Stacy Posey said. “This idea came from our employees who were asked how they would like to partner with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to give back to the communities in which they live and work. The past four year’s sweatshirt programs were a huge hit with kids and teachers across the state. Due to the overwhelming community support, it just made sense to continue the program in other Montana schools. Including this year, MRL employees have distributed over 12,000 sweatshirts. We pride ourselves on being a good community partner and neighbor and are proud of our employees and their involvement in the communities in which we operate.”
Chris Cline, MRL sweatshirt program project manager states, “It is a great time of the year to give back to the communities we serve. It is a joy to see the excitement in the kid’s eyes as they open their gift from the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation and MRL. I am proud to work for a Montana company that cares about the future generation of our great state.”
About the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the major philanthropic organization for The Washington Companies and the Washington family. The Foundation strives to better the human condition by supporting programs and services that give people the tools to enhance the quality of their lives and to benefit society as a whole. Funding for the Foundation comes from personal contributions from the Washington family and annual contributions from The Washington Companies. Since its inception in 1988, Foundation giving and the Washington family’s personal contributions and pledges to charitable causes total more than a quarter of a billion dollars. The Foundation website is located at www.dpwfoundation.org.
Based in Missoula, MT, and formed in 1987, Montana Rail Link (MRL) is a class II regional railroad that operates over 900 route miles of track in Montana and Idaho and employs nearly 1,200 dedicated professionals. MRL provided transportation solutions to over 150 local Montana businesses and moves their product to domestic and international markets on a daily basis. In 2017, MRL safely transported 420,000 carloads of product for local and regional rail shippers. These shipments help feed, clothe, supply and power American and international homes and businesses every day. We are committed to providing transportation services that result in long-term growth and prosperity for our company, customers and employees. We live by our values of fairness, integrity, respect, safety and trust. MRL prides ourselves on being a good neighbor in the communities we serve. You can learn more about MRL at www.montanarail.com