Lakehead University MBA student helps the Underground Gym
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Lakehead University MBA

Lakehead University MBA student helps the Underground Gym  


   A scholarship from Mirabelli Corp. inspired Lakehead University student Jordan Cash to raise more than $1,000 for the Underground Gym in Thunder Bay.


Cash, a Master of Business Administration student, had planned to volunteer at the gym as a boxing instructor but didn’t have time due to his busy school schedule. Instead, he raised money for the Underground Gym in a fundraiser called MBAs Care.

“At the end of last semester I received a $200 scholarship from Mirabelli Corp. that I decided to donate to the Underground Gym, and I wanted to see if I could raise more,” Cash said.

After giving a short presentation to his MBA classmates, Cash was impressed when 15 students donated a total of approximately $400. He is also collecting donations from faculty members in Business Administration and contributing some of his own funds.   Cash, who is from Pickering, Ont., added money he won from a Proline Ticket, some stock dividends and money left over from his student loan

“I want people to know that Lakehead MBA students care about this community. We are proud to assist the Underground Gym to help young people reach their full potential,” Cash said.

Peter Panetta, Underground Gym founder, said Cash’s donation will help keep the youth centre open.   “This is huge for us. The timing couldn’t have been better,” Panetta said, adding that the donation will also provide food for the youth.

“We usually have five or so fundraisers per year and they’re very important. These donations are much appreciated and much needed,” Panetta said.

Dr. Lifeng Geng, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration, said Cash has shown great leadership with this project.   “Jordan is a very talented MBA student. He's doing great academically and it's nice to see him make time for the local community,” Dr. Geng said. “I'm happy that he has devoted his time and energy to the well-being of kids. He clearly has a lot of potential to be a great leader.”

Cash raised the money through a scholarship from Mirabelli Corp., and donations from other MBA students and Lakehead faculty.

Jordan Cash is a final year MBA student who will complete his studies this August.

“ We discovered the Underground Gym and talked to Peter on the phone several times. I thought I could help the kids learn how to box and then learned it really is a community centre. I didn’t have the time I thought so the least I could do is raise some funds for them. I wanted to show the entire community that we are corporately and business driven as MBA’s but not to the extreme. We care about our community.”

Alannah Drost, MBA student

“ I would say Jordan was the brains behind the operation. Jordan did a presentation to our class as to what he wanted to do here and is a good motivator.”

Peter Panetta, owner operator of the Underground Gym.

“ We don’t have any core funding so this $1000 donation is huge for us. We have low overhead at the Underground Gym, but still have bills so that is where the funds will go. We will also use some of the funds for food for the kids.

  “ We have started our 16th year in February here at the Underground Gym. We have a gym, a kitchen and a youth centre for the kids. We need more space but I am not complaining. Our many programs include judo, gymnastics, arts and craft, piano and guitar. We offer what ever is offered to us to help the kids. Most of the kids live near here but I will pick them up and bring them here if they have moved away.”

   “ What we do is keep them safe number one and number two occupied in a family styled atmosphere. Sometimes the kids come here to be with their friends, sometimes they want to eat and sometimes they are mad and want to hit the bags.”

“ We have worked with well over 1000 kids. This year we have had over 300 kids registered and many just drop in as well. It only costs the kids a smile,” smiles Peter.“ I have seen kids lives changed, not every one but many.”

   “ This is my passion. I retired early just to do this. I love people and more so kids and I like to help mold them into someone positive who will affect other kids when they get older.  I really believe what I do for these kids; they will do for someone else down the road. It will effect society. It is a small thing but you will be surprised how much difference even one person can make.”

Lakehead University MBA student helps the Underground Gym


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