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Jeff Norton driving the Amphicar onto the beach at Falcon Lake, Manitoba. (Alex Zimmer/Alex Zimmer.)
Jeff Norton driving the Amphicar onto the beach at Falcon Lake, Manitoba. (Alex Zimmer/Alex Zimmer.)

Giving back

Manitoba executive fundraises off the beaten track Add to ...

The Gift: Nearly $24,000 and climbing

The Cause: Parkinson Society Manitoba

When Jeff Norton’s father died suddenly of complications from Parkinson’s disease last February, he wanted to do something in commemoration.

So he decided to put one of his most prized possessions, a 1966 Amphicar 770, to work for a good cause.

“We had this incredibly popular car that seemed to attract

interest every time we took it out,” Mr. Norton recalled from Winnipeg where he is chief

executive of the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund.

The Amphicar was the brainchild of a German car maker which built about 4,000 of the hybrid land-water vehicles in the 1960s before going out of business.

The cars, sold mostly in the United States, can travel up to 115 kilometres an hour on land and nearly 20 kilometres an hour in water.

Mr. Norton saw an Amphicar while on vacation in France in 2007 and was hooked. He managed to buy one three years later for $42,000 and loved driving it with his father.

This summer, he took the car to various festivals and gatherings around Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. He

offered free rides in return for donations to Parkinson Society Manitoba.

The car was a hit and Mr. Norton and his partner, Sandra, have visited nearly two dozen communities and offered more than 1,000 rides. They have also raised close to $24,000, with more events to come.

“We thought we’d get about $5,000,” said Mr. Norton who is considering running the car at events again next summer.

“It was a way to do something positive in [dad’s] memory. It kept us focused on something we could do and support. I think dad would have been proud of what we did and what we have accomplished.”

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