Cars-Coffee-Crusin’ f-raiser at Regal Pinnacle April 1

Like coffee? And cars? Then you need to get down to the Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18 parking lot from 8 to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 1, for Cars & Coffee. Enjoy free coffee, pancakes and a huge car show.

And that’s just part one.

Like road trips? And cards? You’ll be in the right place — after having coffee at the car show in Turkey Creek, you can start your engine for a poker game you’ll never forget: Crusin’ with Heart, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Regal Cinemas has teamed up with European Auto Garage for both events, while proceeds benefit Variety, the Children’s Charity of Eastern Tennessee.

“The Children’s Charity is a multi-million-dollar philanthropic organization that spans the globe with 50 chapters in 14 countries,” said Carol Fusco, executive director for the East Tennessee Chapter.

The goal that day is to raise money for local kids who need wheels of their own — wheelchairs and other mobility devices that can be pretty expensive. Variety will even be delivering a tricycle to a special needs child that morning.

The day is divided into two parts: “Cars and Coffee” in the morning and the yearly “Poker Run” in the afternoon. Park your car [no entrance fee] for all to admire, then enjoy breakfast, courtesy of Waffle House. Walk around and eyeball the DeFrancisco’s Aston Martin, and about 297 other cars — and a few motorcycles.

“We see all kinds of cars,” said Cyndi DeFrancisco, who owns European Auto Garage with her husband, Rich. “Lamborghinis and old muscle cars — like our friends' '67 Firebird that’s absolutely beautiful, and antique cars. We’ve been talking to car clubs too.”

While you’re enjoying the cars, stop by the sidewalk in front of the box office to sign up for door prizes, bid on silent auction items or buy a raffle ticket.

Then start your engine at 10:30 a.m. for a card game you’ll never forget. You don’t have to be fast — only lucky, and you can be happy knowing your $25 entry fee will go to support Variety.

“We set up a three-to-four-hour route through ‘The Dragon,’ 120 miles,” DeFrancisco said. “Along the route our drivers will draw a card at each stop and the last stop is here. We do recommend a GPS or a navigator who can tell you where to turn.”

DeFrancisco said European Auto Garage did fundraisers for CCFA for three years.

European Auto Garage is in sales and service of European cars [and some others]. They have a certified Lexus mechanic and a certified diesel mechanic and have been in business seven years.

For more information about the event, go to