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New director takes helm of North Hills Community Outreach's auto sales program

| Friday, March 18, 2016, 5:48 p.m.
Robb Montgomery, shown here in Pine, Wednesday, March 9, 2016., is the new director of the nonprofit Community Auto Program.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Robb Montgomery, shown here in Pine, Wednesday, March 9, 2016., is the new director of the nonprofit Community Auto Program.

Community-minded Robb Montgomery of Ross wants your old car, especially if it's a four-door, good runner.

Got an aged Buick Century, Mercury Sable or Chevy Impala that you might be willing to swap for a tax deduction?

Montgomery seeks such used cars — or any minivan — for people waiting to buy a reliable vehicle through the Community Auto Program in Pine, a branch of North Hills Community Outreach, based in Hampton.

The program offers repaired, used cars and minivans to income-eligible buyers for about $2,500 to $3,000 per vehicle.

“I've been a longtime supporter of the NHCO and really respected their work and programs,” said Montgomery, a 1978 Shaler Area High School graduate and new director of the Community Auto Program.

A self-described amateur gear head, Montgomery, 55, also is: a retired district manager for Radio Shack with a master's degree in business administration; a youth leader at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Hampton; and recent technical director for “The Music Man,” the spring musical at Pine-Richland High School.

“He's really sharp. He knows a lot of people,” said NHCO spokeswoman Jennifer Kissel.

Montgomery, a Grove City College graduate, and his wife, Ann, a full-time substitute teacher for North Allegheny School District, have two children — Laura, a first-grade teacher at Burchfield Elementary School in Shaler; and Robert, a computer programmer.

Montgomery replaced former community auto team leader Brady Riedel, now resource coordinator for NHCO.

Last year, the Community Auto Program sold about 50 cars to eligible buyers, said Montgomery, who started his new job Feb. 22.

Each buyer got a six-month warranty on their car, plus a full tank of gas, membership in the American Automobile Association and car seats for their young children.

Families of four with an annual income of less than $60,625 may apply to buy a car through the Community Auto Program. A single mother with one child who earns less than $39,825 per year also is eligible.

“We have plenty of clients around Allegheny County that need cars to get to work and get their children to schools and activities,” Montgomery said. “But we don't have enough donated cars.”

Donors of cars resold to clients can claim the full Kelly Blue Book value of their donated vehicle as a tax write-off, Montgomery said.

As new director of the NHCO's Community Auto Program, Montgomery works closely with Pine Township Supervisor Ed Holdcroft, the program's paid auto consultant.

Holdcroft picks up and drives all donated cars to the program's headquarters in Pine Auto Center at 11490 Perry Highway, where they receive any necessary repairs at a discounted charge for labor.

Cars deemed unsuitable or beyond repair for resale are sold for scrap or auctioned for proceeds that also are tax deductible and used to help the Community Auto Program.

To donate a vehicle or learn more about the NHCO Community Auto Program, call 724-443-8300.

Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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