Circumstances may have required Greater Pike Community Foundation to postpone its annual dinner until 2021, but certainly not the recognition due to its extraordinary honorees, Centa Quinn and Junior Dabashi.
Centa Quinn was unanimously selected to receive the Barbara J. Buchanan Community Service Award, given to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Her friends will tell you Centa is modest, and that was evident by her reaction when told she was chosen as the honoree this year. “I never imagined it would be me,” she said. Throughout the decades, Quinn volunteered and supported many organizations, including the Lions Club, and The American Cancer Society, and still serves on the boards of the Pike County Public Library and The Milford Community House and is president of the Milford High School Alumni Association. In 2017 she donated the Little Free Library that is still very active in Ann St. Park. Rose Chiocchi, the Library’s Executive Director said, “She also donated a second Little Free Library that will be installed at the Dingman Township Administration building off of Fisher Lane.”
The Quinn family has lived and farmed in Milford “forever” in Centa’s words. She remembers helping her father, Merritt A. Quinn, deliver raw milk to residents in the borough. “I knew every house and who lived in each,” she recalls. Her first job, two years out of high school, was a secretary at PennDot on Bennett Avenue in Milford. That was 1949. She also served many years as Chief Clerk for the Pike County Commissioners and as Clerk of Pike County Board of Elections.
Friends have called Centa Quinn the “Energizer Bunny”. Still feisty, she gardens at home and on the Quinn family farm in Dingman Township, growing gladiolas and dahlias. Of her continued volunteer activities, Quinn says, “I’ve always tried to help people and organizations. That keeps my mind going.”
Junior Dabashi, Milford Key Foods owner, was unanimously selected to receive The Richard L. Snyder Business Leadership Award which recognizes a local business that has demonstrated outstanding corporate philanthropic leadership in our community. In a profile out earlier this year, Dabashi was given kudos for his unending willingness to help those in need (delivering food to the homebound during the Covid pandemic, and supporting food pantries are only two examples), for his partnerships with other businesses to benefit various community projects, and for the care he exhibits for his employees.
Greater Pike’s Dinner Committee Chair, Tim Smith notes both Quinn and Dabashi “demonstrate why the Foundation honors individuals and business owners. Centa has spent a lifetime giving back to her community in every way a person could and Junior exemplifies how a business can be not just part of a community but truly integrated with its citizens.” He adds, it was “a very easy decision to make and we look forward to giving them their due at our next dinner.”
While Greater Pike plans to hold its dinner and officially honor these two outstanding community leaders in 2021, there is no need to wait to recognize the importance of their service during these difficult times. Greater Pike Community Foundation is currently accepting donations in honor of Centa Quinn and Junior Dabashi and will notify them of all gifts made in their names. A donation to either one (or both) of these giving individuals can be made by check, payable to GPCF-FGP and mailed to Greater Pike Community Foundation, PO Box 992, Milford, PA 18337. Indicate who the donation is honoring in the memo line so the foundation can share accolades.