Corazón the double decker bus hits Port Douglas for charity

FUNDRAISING

Karlie Brady

Junior Reporter

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Lorie Norton is selling coffee out of his double decker bus to raise money to help families with sick kids. Image: Karlie Brady.
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Travelling around Australia is not an uncommon thing, however, doing it in a 1949 double-decker bus at 45 kilometres per hour, all in the name of sick kids, is a little more unique.

That is exactly what Melbourne man Lorie Norton is doing, all while giving away coffee in exchange for donations for the charity Eli's gift, which raises money for families with sick children.

Mr Norton left Melbourne five months ago, slowly traveling up the coast, arriving in Port Douglas on Monday.

In that time he has raised over $25,000 with 100 per cent of the profits going directly to Eli’s Gift.

Mr Norton found the old Leyland bus abandoned in a paddock and fell instantly in love with it. 

“I put 40 litres of diesel in it and two new batteries and I said to her if it starts I'll take you home and it started first go,” said Mr Norton.

Over the next 12 years he restored the old bus, inside and out, into a café, gallery and his home, and named it Corazón, which is Spanish for heart.

With the original engine still cranking it’s slow going with the old bus only reaching a maximum of 45 kilometres per hour, but Mr Norton loves the experience.

“I get to make coffee and talk to people all day and when I go to bed at night I’m happy,” he said.

He added that while he personally hasn’t been affected by having a sick loved one, people shouldn’t wait for a reason to do good things.

“I really believe that we shouldn't be waiting for a catalyst to go out and be the change we want to see in the world,” he said.

“If we waited for someone to get sick before we started helping people then we're going to end up with heaps of sick people.”

Mr Norton said he picked the charity Eli’s Gift because it's 100 per cent non-for-profit with all proceeds going to struggling families.

“I was originally going to do it for one of the bigger charity organisations but they weren't 100 per cent money-in-money-out and I wanted to make sure the money that I was putting my heart and work into was actually making it out to families.”

Eli's Gift started when a family lost their young son, Eli, to a respiratory disease and realised they and other families in similar positions couldn’t get the help they needed.

Now Mr Norton is not only raising money for them but also spreading the word.

After another few days in Port Douglas at the BIG4 Caravan Park Mr Norton and Corazón will travel to the Atherton Tablelands before continuing their journey around Australia.

To find out more about Mr Norton’s journey or to donate to Eli's Gift visit www.twiceasnice.com.au, follow Twice as Nice Gallery Café on Facebook and Instagram or donate directly to elisgift.org.au.


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