Dunmorean of the Month: Marina Pegula

Marina Pegula photo

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore graduate Marina Pegula is playing as much softball as she can while setting sights on a career in pharmacy.

Daughter of Mark and Diane Pegula, Dunmore, Marina is now in her sophomore year as a pre-Allied Health major at Lackawanna College.

She is a starting shortstop on the Lackawanna College softball team.

Marina, 19, played four years of softball at Dunmore a High School. She is a former all-star and started at shortstop for three years at Dunmore. She also played some third base under Dunmore softball coach Ryan Ferguson.

bucksThe scholar-athlete played basketball and volleyball and also was a football cheerleader at Dunmore.

Jeff Pittsman is her softball coach at Lackawanna. “Our team started to click last season,” Marina said. “I’m really looking forward to playing this season.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good shortstop.

“You need to be aware about what is going on during the game on the field at all times,” she said. “You can’t be overwhelmed. You have to stay calm and make the plays come to you. You can’t be psyched out by anything.”

Marina played travel softball from age nine through her sophomore year in high school. “It was a great experience,” she said. “It was great traveling state to state and even to Florida for the championships. I was away playing every weekend in the summer. It is a lot of fun and you learn a lot from the different teams and players.”

Marina said she learned a lot from her travel team coaches and Dunmore coach Ryan Ferguson. “Coach Ferguson taught us to be focused and put forth your best effort out there. The travel team coaches also taught me a lot about the game.”

The 2016 Dunmore graduate said she became interested in pharmacy after shadowing Tom DePietro at DePietro Family Pharmacy in Dunmore.

“He is a friend of my cousin, Jim Dartt. I really enjoyed the experience shadowing him and I was very good in chemistry in high school. So I decided on a pre-pharmacy major with a goal of going to pharmacy school.”

lccMarina had successful first year at Lackawanna doing well academically and hitting .334 while starting every game at shortstop on the softball team.

She hopes to continue her softball career after the coming season. “It will depend on where I go to school in my junior year. If the opportunity presents itself, I definitely want to continue playing.”

Marina talked about her future goals. “Well, my number one goal is to become a pharmacist. I would like to someday open my own pharmacy. I would like to play softball as long as I can in college. I like being a part of the team.”

Marina enjoys listening to music in her spare time. If she could see anyone in concert, she said, it would be the late Michael Jackson.

Her biggest supporters are her parents.

“My parents always tell me to do my best. They tell me to perform up to my capabilities both in academics and softball. They are very supportive, go to all of my softball games and that gives me a very comfortable feeling.”

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Dunmorean of the Month: Mark Rinaldi

rinaldi

IN MEMORIAM: Mark J. Rinaldi, 54, passed away on Monday, July 10, at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

By Steve Svetovich

He had a passion for athletics, family and advocating for the Dunmore youth.

That’s what Dunmore athletic director Mark Rinaldi was about.

And the Dunmore community lost him much too soon when he died last month at 54 from an apparent heart attack.

Son of Sylvia Pisa Rinaldi and the late John J. Rinaldi, Mark had a lifelong love of sports. He graduated from Dunmore High School in 1981. He was part of a Big 11 title football team as a wide receiver-defensive back in 1978. He helped Dunmore win its first Lynett Memorial Basketball title in 1980 and Lackawanna League Southern Division title in 1981.

After receiving his B.S. in Education from East Stroudsburg University in 1985, he returned to Dunmore and began a long coaching and teaching career. His mentor was Dunmore legendary basketball coach Jack Kelly.

“He and Jack were very close and remained friends throughout the years,” said Michelle Rinaldi (no relation), Dunmore, whose sons Chris and Corey were Dunmore athletes.

“I know all of the student-athletes loved Mark. He would do anything for them. He was not a guy who smiled a lot. He had a serious look. But he had a reputation of always advocating for the student-athlete. I bet if you asked any student-athlete about him, you would hear nothing but positive stories about him. He was extremely well liked.”

A math teacher, Rinaldi served as a volunteer coach for Dunmore’s Eastern Football Conference Class A title team. He served for several years as an assistant football coach.

bucksA tireless worker dedicated to his craft, he became Dunmore’s head basketball coach in 1998-99 succeeding his mentor Jack Kelly. He was previously the assistant under Kelly.

He led Dunmore to a 93-63 record, including three Lynett titles, in six seasons.

During his time at Dunmore, he also served as junior varsity baseball coach and junior varsity track and field coach.

He became the Dunmore High School athletic director after the 2009-10 scholastic year. Again, he succeeded his mentor Jack Kelly.

And in that role, he did everything he could for the student-athlete. No problem was too big to solve.

Very generous with his time, he served over the years as an official clock operator at local football games, as site manager for state playoff events and as a high school and college official.

He made various contributions to the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association and also at the District 2 and PIAA levels. He was past president of the Lackawanna Football Conference, member of the District 2 committee and was chairperson of soccer and lacrosse.

Rinaldi was a strong family man who closely followed the academic and athletic careers of his two sons, John and Mark. John, a three-sport athlete at Dunmore, recently graduated from Binghamton University where he was a key member of the basketball team. Mark, a senior at Dunmore, is an all-star in soccer, football, basketball and track and field.

Rinaldi served Dunmore High School for over 30 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He was dedicated to Dunmore.

His beloved wife, the former Annie Hubshman, also survives.

Dunmorean of the Month: Taylor Perry

Dunmorean of the Month - Taylor PerryBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School graduate Taylor Perry and her fiancé Josh McWilliams started a chiropractic business in the borough this past November and business is starting to boom.

Daughter of John and Leann Perry, Dunmore, Taylor, 27, is a 2008 graduate of Dunmore High School.

She received a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology from Temple University in 2012. She finished with a 3.4 grade point average and added a certificate in Spanish for health professions.

Taylor also studied abroad in Spain during her college years and was one of the founders of the Chiropractic Club at Temple University.

During her time at Dunmore High School, Taylor was a member of the softball team, the national honor society and the yearbook staff.

Taylor went on from Temple to graduate from Palmer Chiropractic College in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2016. She spent three and one-half years there.

She and her fiancé, who is from Wisconsin, opened up Dunmore Family Chiropractic, 439 East Drinker St., Dunmore, this past November.

“It is just the two of us,” she said. “We do the billing, office work, treatments and everything.”

dunmore chiropracticTaylor said she expects to grow quickly. “We are looking to expand. We want to hire an associate and branch out into supplements, nutrition and health foods. We have also hired a massage therapist. We can do x-rays on site.

“We want to offer our clients everything possible to lead healthy lives.”

The young chiropractor said she and her fiancé accept most insurances. “The location here in Dunmore could not be better. There are so many people who drive by and see our sign. The practice is doing great. We are getting a lot of referrals.”

Taylor said she is a big believer in a holistic approach to healing. “I like to teach clients to try to be healthy first. People are opening their eyes to chiropractic care and taking a more holistic approach initially. We are finding that opioids and pain medicine do not often help. It can be a cover up to the problem at hand. We want to fix the problem and not hide it.”

Taylor said her parents were a big inspiration to her. “Both of my parents own businesses and were always very hard working. My dad owns Perry Contracting in Dunmore and my mom owns Leanne’s Academy of Learning, a day care and pre-school.

“Because of what I saw in them, I always knew I would own my own business.”

The road to chiropractic school came after a little soul searching.

temple“I always wanted to help people and work with my hands. I worked with my hands helping my dad in his contracting business.

“I didn’t want to go to medical school. And I wanted to help people naturally. I shadowed a chiropractor who spoke in one of my classes at Temple. And that was it. I made my decision then.”

Taylor, industrious and ambitious, is enjoying every minute of her profession. “I just want to be a part of people’s lives helping them live healthier in a more natural way.”

 

Artist of the Month: Mary Kathryn White

Artist of the Month - Mary K

Mary Kathryn White shows a portrait of her grandmother, Mary Allen Greene, on her wedding day. The artist often draws inspiration from her family.

The June Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Senior Center is Mary Kathryn White of Factoryville.

Mary began painting at the Senior Center in 2010 after another student, Dee Noll, told her about the wonderful class she was taking, as well as the talented artist, Jill Swersie, who was teaching the class.

Prior to that, Mary had only painting in school, where she also had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Hose, who was inspiring.

“It’s hard to say where I draw inspiration, but oftentimes, I am focused on family,” the artist explains. In this month’s featured painting, she turned to a portrait of her grandmother, Mary Allen Greene, on her wedding day.

“The photo I used, which was taken around the turn of the 20th century, was in sepia, so I took liberties with the colors of her outfit.”

Other inspiration comes from Jill’s drawing class, which she offers to any student who wants to join her before the painting class begins. “In this class, she has exposed us to different media, methods, lighting, and styles of drawing and painting,” Mary explains.

“The class at the Senior Center is not just a painting class.  It’s a group of people, with a love of art who have come together and become friends.  The class is relaxing and accepting, which I think helps in creativity.” Mary notes.

“No one is ever put on the spot, although comments from our class have been incorporated in a few of my paintings. If you don’t feel like painting on any certain day, you can just come to the class to gather ideas for future art projects” she says.

“I look back on my paintings and see how I have progressed in the years I have been in the class, and I am pleased with the art and the friends I have made.”