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The local monthly newspaper of Dunmore, PA.

Dunmore Lady Bucks’ Unsung Hero is Senior Mia Blume

By Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Lady Bucks are always known for a team-oriented approach.

And one of its biggest team players and leaders is senior Mia Blume.

Daughter of Teddy and Grace Blume, Mia is the team’s third option after junior center Ciera Toomey, a Division-I recruit, and senior guard Moriah Murray, who will play basketball at Drexel University next year.

However, the senior guard is making a name for herself as Dunmore’s unsung hero.

Mia scored nine points and added four key assists in Dunmore’s 65-30 win over Scranton High School in the Lynett Girls Memorial Tournament semifinal Monday, Dec. 27, at Lackawanna College Student Union. Toomey scored 30 and Murray added 20 in the semifinal.

Mia contributed four points in Dunmore’s 46-17 win over Scranton Prep to help the Lady Bucks regain the Lynett Tournament title Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Lackawanna College Student Union.

Murray scored 17 and tournament MVP Toomey added 15 points in the Lynett title win.

Mia drew praises for her leadership and poise on the court in both games.

A four-year member and three-year starter on the Lady Bucks, the senior guard is averaging over seven points and about four assists per contest.

Enthusiastic and team-oriented, Mia also is an excellent softball player at Dunmore. She is a second baseman and two-year member of the Dunmore softball team.

The senior scholar-athlete has an impressive 3.7 academic average and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a member of the Spanish Club, French Club, TACT and SADD.

Mia, with great energy, said she and her teammates were “super excited” in recapturing the Lynett Tournament crown.

Mia plans on attending Newmann University in Aston, PA where she will major in sports management and play basketball.

“I am looking forward to continuing my basketball career there,” she said. “I love the school, too. I am looking forward to the sports management classes too. I want to manage players someday. I want to branch off into that. We worked hard and turned in the right direction.”

Mia praised her parents for influencing her towards basketball. “My parents are huge influences as to why I always played basketball,” she said. “They shaped me into who I am today. They are the reason I started playing basketball. They got me into it at an early age. And I love the game.”

The well-spoken senior said Dunmore basketball coach Ben O’Brien has also taught her a lot. “He is a great coach and we all love him,” she said. “He brings the best in us. He helps us all play to our full potential.”

A consummate team leader, Mia said playing with Toomey and Murray rubs off on her game and makes the team more successful. “Obviously, it is a great experience playing with two elite players like Ciera and Moriah,” she said. “We all have roles on the team. It just helps us come together and have success as a team. We all work together to make a true team. It’s all about teamwork in the end.”

Mia said she enjoys country music and would like to see Morgan Wallen in concert.

She talked about what it takes to excel at the guard position. “It takes a lot of hard work on and off the court,” she said. “You need to put in the extra time. You need to work hard when no one is watching.”

Mia was an honorable mention for basketball at the guard position in her sophomore and junior years.

She is enjoying her senior year at Dunmore. “Our hard work is paying off. Things are going in the right direction for us. I love it here at Dunmore.”

Shark Discoveries Partners with Dunmore Business

Kevin Harrington, one of the original panelists/investors on the hit ABC program, “Shark Tank.” Shark Discoveries works with selected entrepreneurs to market their products to a wider clientele.

When Dawn and Dr. Mark Albert and Marlene and Dr. Sam Sebastianelli founded their Dunmore-based business CBD Intact two years ago, they did it with the firm belief that their line of hemp-produced CBD (cannabidiol) products carried genuine health benefits for those suffering from chronic pain, anxiety and sleeplessness.

The couples knew they had a first-rate product line with solid scientific research behind it, and business was booming until early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic brought foot traffic to a virtual standstill. The months afterward were trying, to say the least, but earlier this year, CBD Intact finally caught a huge break that could give it a reach that extends well beyond Northeast Pennsylvania.

Back in July, the business received a completely out-of-the-blue call from Shark Discoveries, the company run by Kevin Harrington, one of the original panelists/investors on the hit ABC program, “Shark Tank.” Shark Discoveries works with selected entrepreneurs to market their products to a wider clientele.

“The day they called, I thought they were a telemarketer. I didn’t believe it at first,” said Marlene, who took the initial call. “When I asked why CBD Intact was chosen, Shark Discoveries mentioned that while researching CBD companies, they felt that we appeared to care more about people and pets than making money.

“Apparently, Shark Discoveries was looking to partner with a CBD business for their new year/new you programming, and we seemed to fit right into that category. And I think the physician/pharmacist component we brought to our products was appealing to them,” Dawn said. 

“It was a process. Our products had to go through rigorous rounds of approval, including from Kevin Harrington himself. It’s very exciting.” In fact, CBD Intact has been selected as one of the Most Innovative Products of 2022.

The couples’ entry into the CBD industry came via firsthand experience. Marlene, a breast cancer survivor, was similarly looking for an alternative to the cancer medicines that often produced painful side effects. 

“I have a passion for helping people, especially ever since I had cancer. I want to support others going through what I went through,” Marlene said. “I think that CBD is something that can be very beneficial to people, and can benefit all age groups across the spectrum.”

Dr. Sebastianelli and Dr. Albert are pictured in the CBD lab.

Dawn first started using CBD products to treat her stomach issues and fibromyalgia-induced pain, becoming a believer when they worked better than her medications.

Mark, a longtime area physician, not only recommends CBD products for his opioid-addicted patients, but uses them himself. The continually growing body of research on CBD shows they have real medicinal benefits, he said. “I believe in the general sense of well-being you get by consistently using CBD because of the way it satisfies the receptors located throughout the body. CBD has been shown to improve the immune system, which is especially important to take care of in today’s world of negative external influences.”

“In fact, there are more CBD receptors in your body than serotonin receptors. Even if you take a low dose, you’ll saturate your receptors and get a general sense of wellbeing. But you have to try it and keep at it, and for about two out of three people, something beneficial is going to happen,” Mark said.

Sam, a licensed pharmacist, remarked, “Based on the most current data, CBD is a good complementary form of medicine.” He was more than happy to share some customer feedback: 

“When you don’t have to get up and think about pain management for the rest of the day, that was huge for me. This particular product appealed to me because it goes seed to shelf. Their support staff is phenomenal. The price for what you’re getting is a phenomenal product. With the CBD Intact oil, I feel like I can act as young as I feel inside now,” – Angela Shirley

“When I looked in the mirror afterward, I just couldn’t believe it! A month later and my skin keeps getting better, and better, and better! Every day I use the products, it’s lifted my skin, it’s toned my skin. I’m 60 years old and feel 10 years younger!” – Bonnie French

In 2019, the couples decided the time was right to open a brick-and-mortar store devoted to CBD products, setting up shop next door to Sam’s pharmacy, Dunmore Drug Store.

In order to have strict control over the entire process from seed to shelf, they partnered with Mayfield-based AgriHemp, which handles the entire CBD process, from farming to extraction and purification to manufacturing. All CBD Intact products are third party tested and are grown in the USA.

“As a result, and because we don’t have to deal with any middlemen, we can offer the best-quality product at the most cost effective price to our customers,” Dawn said.

CBD Intact’s extensive product line includes oils, capsules, pain creams, gummies, skincare, shampoos and an oral dissolvable tablet (ODT). “We’re the only CBD business that sells it,” Dawn said of the ODT.

Dr. Sam Sebastianelli and Dr. Mark Albert are shown running a quality check on the CBD equipment.

The business also specializes in pet products. CBD Intact has a practicing, contemporary veterinarian who is an advocate for the use of CBD in animals. He lectures all over the country and engages on CBD Intact’s website.

In fact, the Alberts have been giving CBD to their senior rescue Yorkie, Buddy, for the past four years, and believe it has substantially improved his quality of life.

Another important distinction that sets CBD Intact apart from other businesses is its commitment to proper CBD dosing. Dr. Albert has designed a series of dosage charts that allow customers to see how much product they should use, depending on their own individual levels of pain, anxiety and sleeplessness. 

Marlene added, “it can take time to find the right level and you have to be diligent.” That’s one of the reasons CBD Intact offers a chat line that allows customers to call and speak to CBD representatives regarding dosage and any other questions regarding CBD.

No doubt, CBD Intact’s dedicated customers appreciate that level of service, which is among the reasons the business got off to such a promising start before people’s shopping habits became limited due to the pandemic.

Just as the couples were considering turning CBD Intact into an online-only venture, the call came from Shark Discoveries, upending everything — in the best possible way.

“Our customers are already spreading the word about it. They’re as excited about Shark Discoveries as we are,” Dawn said. “This is a really big deal for us and our goal of helping as many people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety and sleeplessness as we can. It’s almost like it was meant to be.”

CBD Intact is located at 702 N. Blakely St. in Dunmore, just behind Burger King. For more information, call 570-561-3152, email cbdintact@gmail.com, or visit https://cbdintact.com.

CBD Intact can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Toomey Helps Lead Dunmore to Lynett Tournament Title

By Steve Svetovich

With tournament MVP Ciera Toomey leading the way, the Dunmore Lady Bucks recaptured the Lynett Memorial Girls Basketball Tournament title with a 46-17 win over Scranton Prep on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Lackawanna College Student Union.

Prep defeated the Lady Bucks in 2019 for the Lynett title.

Dunmore senior guard Moriah Murray, selected to the all-tournament team, led the Lady Bucks with 17 points and hit three 3-pointers in the Lynett title win. Dunmore freshman Sophia Talutto had two 3-pointers.

Ciera, regarded as one of the top 10 high school girls basketball players in the nation, scored 15 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and had some key blocks in the title win.

The 6-4 junior center, who is being recruited by numerous top Division-I colleges, scored 30 points and added nine rebounds and four assists in Dunmore’s 65-30 win over Scranton High School in the Lynett Tournament semifinal contest on Monday, Dec. 27, at Lackawanna College Student Union.

Murray, who will play basketball next year at Drexel University, added 20 points and four assists in the semifinal win. Dunmore senior guard Mia Blume added nine points and four assists. Talutto added four assists.

Daughter of Carrie and Patrick Toomey, Ciera’s sister Victoria Toomey was an all-state center at Dunmore and now plays basketball at Rider University.

Her mom, the former Carrie Bowen, was a Dunmore basketball standout named 1989 female athlete of the year. She started for four years at Franklin and Marshall University and played two years of professional basketball in England. She is currently one of the Dunmore assistant coaches under veteran Ben O’Brien. She is a member of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

“We were all excited with the Lynett title win,” said Ciera. “It was a great moment that we were able to bring the Lynett Tournament title back to Dunmore. It made the holiday so much better for everyone.”

Articulate and well-spoken, Ciera has an impressive 3.8 grade point average at Dunmore. Her best subject is mathematics. She is a member of TACT, the Health Careers Club and the French Club.

Ciera’s basketball accolades include first-team all-state and two-time All Regional selection and twice first-team Lackawanna League all-star. More honors of the same are expected this year.

The Division-I recruit is also a two-year member of the Dunmore golf team. She was an All Regional selection both years, finishing fourth in the state her first year and sixth in the state in her second season.

The junior standout said she has learned much from Coach O’Brien. “He teaches us to never overlook any team. You can easily win or lose any game. The most prepared team wins. You can never do enough research. It is all about the details.”

The hard-working scholar-athlete said her parents are huge mentors. “They always teach me and my sister to work hard all the time. Hard work pays off. Few things go wrong when you work hard.”

Ciera enjoys listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Olivia Rodrigo, a pop artist, in concert.

She talked about what it takes to excel at the center position in girls high school basketball.

“I’m very fortunate to be gifted with good height,” she said. “I use it in ways to score and find the right moves. I try to make it hard for an opponent my size or smaller to guard me. I closely watched my sister play. I watched her moves and learned a lot from her. I try to apply what I learned from her to my own game.”

Ciera talked about her future goals. “Number one, I want to help Dunmore win as many games and titles as possible. Then I want to work hard to become an All American college basketball player in Division I. I want to graduate with an engineering degree. Then the ultimate goal would be to play in the WNBA.”

Ciera is averaging over 27 points and more than 10 rebounds per game this season and is closing in on 800 career points as a junior.

She absolutely loves Dunmore.

“Dunmore is great,” she said. “I love it all. I have been here going to school since early childhood. I have never had one bad experience.

“Dunmore is a very unique town. We all support each other. Everyone has your back.

“It’s a small sized community and you definitely feel the love.”