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Brooksville cruise-in raises money for Toys for Tots

Tribune correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: November 26, 2013 at 09:42 AM

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If you've got a stylish ride, then cruise it in to Brooksville on Tuesday night and show it off for a good cause.

Monster Transmission & Performance, of Brooksville, sponsors a charity cruise-in from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the parking lot of Chick-fil-A restaurant, 13143 Cortez Blvd. Each monthly cruise-in benefits a local charity.

This month's charity cruise-in will raise funds for Christmas toys for local kids through the Toys for Tots program.

"We will have a donation box for toys by our booth," said Kathryn Plummer, community outreach coordinator for Monster Transmission & Performance. "We will be accepting both monetary donations and unwrapped toys. The funds will go directly to our local Marine Corps League to distribute the toys to Hernando County children."

Many hot rods, classics, and custom cars and trucks will be on display. The event is free and open to the public.

The event gives locals a chance to show off the labors of their love.

"I bought it in pieces and put it together," Jim Arruda said of his 1966 Pontiac GTO at last month's cruise-in. "I grew up with muscle cars. This is my favorite."

Joe Lafranca is proud to show off his 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

"It's a good feeling that people appreciate the restoration work and people give you a thumbs up and wave," Lafranca said.

Those who attend Tuesday's cruise-in will also have a chance to win raffle items, such as Starbucks coffee, movie tickets from Beacon Theater, candle and hot chocolate gift baskets from Sam's Club, a $100 gift card courtesy of Walgreens, and food and merchandise from Chick-fil-A.

Fun activities for the kids are also planned, including a valve cover race and a pit stop challenge. The valve cover race involves homemade cars made from valve covers from car engines.

"Our valve cover races are a really popular activity amongst the cruisers and kids who attend," Plummer said.

It's free to participate and the rules are fairly simple. Racers release a valve cover car from the top of a ramp. The distance is measured from the top of the ramp to the end of the car once it stops moving. The three participants with the highest average distance after three races receive free goodies from Chick-fil-A.

The cruise-in also offers fun for kids who dream of being a member of a racing team's pit crew.

"We have what we call the pit stop challenge," Plummer said.

Players can race to change the tires on an 8-foot by 8-foot replica of the Monster Transmission Camaro with hubs and wheels attached.

"The kids always enjoy it and get the experience of really being in a pit stop," Plummer said.

For more info, contact (800) 708-0087 or visit

Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at

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