New Endowment Afloat

by Josh Kerr | Dec 21, 2021

Amphicar Experience fund aims to support Parkinson Canada

While vacationing in Paris in 2007, Jeff Norton, now a former JFM Board Member, saw something out of the corner of his eye while on a Seine River cruise. He didn’t know until a quick Google search later, but he saw an Amphicar sitting on a barge. An image, and thought, he couldn’t seem to get out of his mind for years. 

In 2010, three years after seeing the Amphicar and deciding he would try his best to get one, he purchased one of an estimated 600 Amphicars currently in the world, this one for sale in California.

The first few summers were full of rides on the lake with family and friends. 

“I did a lot of cruising around with my dad. He had a trucking business, so he was very mechanically inclined,” says Norton. “He loved the engineering of the car and how it worked.” 

In 2012, Norton’s father passed away after living with Parkinson’s for many years.

That year, Norton thought to start using the car as a fundraiser, so The Amphicar Experience was born, supporting Parkinson Canada.

“In that first year, I was talking with the Executive Director of Parkinson’s Manitoba and told him we’d try to raise $5,000 for them,” says Norton. “We ended up close to $30,000 that year.”

After looking into ways that the fundraiser could operate, it became clear that the best method for the Amphicar Experience was to offer rides on a donation basis. 

The fundraiser ran for a few summers, and eventually, it gravitated toward being more focused on experiences like anniversaries and birthdays. 

Having retired from the JFM Board in 2021, Norton decided to shift gears regarding donations. He has opened a new permanently-designated endowment fund at the JFM, The Amphicar Experience Fund, where donors’ contributions will be directed. The fund’s distributions will support Parkinson's research.

“I want to grow the fund as much as I can, and this will keep me motivated summer after summer to get out there, put smiles on peoples’ faces, and raise some money,” says Norton. “It’s a win-win situation.”

The Amphicar will be spending the 2021 winter on display in the Winter's Collision Repair showroom before getting back onto the roads and lakes next summer.