For more than four decades Bruno Konecsni has been a proud member of the Draggins Rod and Custom Car Club in Saskatoon.
He joined 21 years after the original seven got together and formed the club in the fall of 1957.
“By 1960, they produced their first car show downtown in the old arena rink with 38 cars,” Konecsni explained.
By the mid-1960s, the show started to generate some revenue — and in 1968 a partnership with SaskAbilities and Camp Easter Seal was born.
“This is our way of enjoying what we do,” Konecsni said.
“By getting together and sharing our passion for what our art form is and then giving back to the community.”
The club has since donated more than $2 million and countless hours to help make the province’s only accessibly camp a special place for thousands of people experiencing disability.
“That focus is what keeps us going and gives us meaning,” he said.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without them,” SaskAbilities Camp Easter Seal manager Christine Epp said.
“They have done so much for us — both with the facility and also just talking about camp and being a huge advocate and cheerleader for us.”
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To recognize their numerous contributions, SaskAbilities nominated the car club for the Canadian Street Rodding Hall of Fame.
In October, the group was inducted for its commitment to the sport and community.
Eight of its members made the trip to Brantford, Ont., for the 25th-anniversary gala.
“It blew us away,” Konecsni said. “Other people said something to the effect of ‘this is Wayne Gretzky country — we think we set the bar pretty high — you guys just blew the bar through the roof.'”
For him, the experience really hit home.
“Knowing that our peers believe that what we do matters,” he said.
Today the Draggins Rod and Custom Car Club have about 40 members.
It sees close to 250 cars and roughly 20,000 visitors from around North America at its annual car show at Prairieland Park.
Spring 2020 will be its 60th show and it’s a legacy Konecsni hopes will carry on.
“The goal is to keep it growing.”