Since 1968, the Draggins Rod & Custom Car Club has supported the Saskatchewan Abilities Council and Camp Easter Seal. They began their involvement by rebuilding a truck and purchasing equipment for the Training Centre. Then they turned their sights to Camp Easter Seal with contributions totaling more than $1,500,000. Their fundraising has helped to construct a new aquatic centre, fully funded a recreation centre, a storage facility and five cedar cabins, purchased a 4X4, a truck, a tractor, all the laundry equipment and a pool heater at Camp Easter Seal. The financial commitment from the Draggins enables Camp Easter Seal to meet the complex and unique needs of the campers.
Over the years the Draggins Club has supported many charities, with their main charity being Camp Easter Seal. Their members have gone out to the camp to see first-hand what needs could be met. One of the first projects the club got involved with was an indoor recreation facility, built in 1983, where campers could come together for games and crafts in inclement weather.
The Draggins Club then partnered with others to build a badly-needed swimming pool at Camp. They undertook the biggest project they had done to date. It would take two project cars and revenue from four car shows to complete the $350,000.00 Aquatic Centre at Camp Easter Seal. This aquatic centre is fully wheelchair accessible with state-of-the-art mechanical equipment that meets the needs of the campers. The facility is suited so well that it has been a model for special needs camps in the United States.
After the Draggins Club funded and built the indoor swimming pool they set their sights on a medical facility. It needed to be a fully wheelchair accessible facility, with bathrooms, treatment room, central heat and air conditioning. It officially opened July 16, 2000.
A new challenge arose at the camp. Each year the Abilities Council was seeing more children with high medical needs. The staff were qualified to meet the needs of the children, but the facilities were lacking to provide proper medical attention. It needed to be a fully wheelchair accessible facility, with bathrooms, treatment room, central heat and air conditioning and the cost would be around $110,000. The Draggins got busy doing what we do pretty well, raising money. The Medical facility is situated in the midst of the camp to allow programming to the campers who sometimes cannot get to the program areas and is done in a style that reflects the character of the Camp. It was officially opened July 16, 2000. Jim Biss, President of the Sask. Abilities Council, members of the Draggins Rod & Custom Car Club and campers participated in the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The Draggins take a great deal of pride in knowing this accessible cabin will allow high-need campers the opportunity to participate in everything Camp Easter Seal has to offer.
From the time of the Draggins 40th Anniversary celebration in 1997 the money raised has been building replacement cabins. These are modern facilities that allow the campers to have their needs met and experience all the joys of summer camping.
Our goal has been to assist the Sask. Abilities Council in providing 800 children and adults with disabilities with all that a Saskatchewan summer camp has to offer. This allows them to be independent, explore new skills, build friendships and to live and enjoy life to the fullest.
We know it is appreciated. A sign made by the campers out of white painted rocks on the opposite shore for all to see, stating "Welcome Draggins" and the smiles on the camper's faces tell the story.
The Draggins have been fortunate enough to donate more than $1.5 million to Camp Easter Seal. This has been accomplished with the generous support of our car shows by participants, sponsors, the thousands of car enthusiasts that attend our show every year and the proceeds raised through our project car raffles.
Camp Easter Seal is a barrier-free residential summer camp located on the shores of Little Manitou Lake, near Watrous, Saskatchewan. Each summer about 700 campers of all ages and abilities come to camp for a week of fun and go home with a lifetime of memories. Regular programming includes swimming, boating, water skiing, horseback riding, overnight tenting, arts and crafts, wagon rides, talent shows, cook-outs, campfire sing-alongs, banquets, and socials! In short, everything a summer camp is meant to be, but adapted to meet the unique needs, interests and abilities of each camper.
Camp Easter Seal provides a high level of medical and attendant care, is able to meet specific dietary requirements and has a full-time medical staff. Generous donors and supporters have enabled camp to expand and upgrade facilities over the years. The cost to send an individual to camp for a week is approximately $1,500.