Italian Cars Take to the Streets of Montclair
If you love Italian cars, you must see Mille Miglia Auto Club's "Fourth Annual Exotic Charity Car Rally" on June 11th. This highly-anticipated event, which raises money for organizations and individuals in need, is made possible thanks to Franco Porporino Jr., an Italian American with a passion for helping others. This year cars are cruising to benefit Tomorrow Children's Fund, an organization that helps children who are fighting cancer, and Hudson Valley SPCA, a no-kill animal shelter that is also responsible for enforcing the Humane Law in Orange County, NY.
A Jack of Many Trades
Rally organizer Franco Porporino Jr. has an impressive resume and has been making a lot of noise in LA recently as a name to be reckoned with (more on that at a later date). Not only is he the manager of four-time Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award winner Armand Assante, but he's also a film producer, actor, philanthropist, and the owner of his own award-winning restaurant–Fresco Da Franco in Montclair, NJ. When it comes to helping others in the local community, Porporino has partnered with several organizations. Two such examples include raising funds for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Bayonne, NJ and mentoring young men in Integrity House's residential program. He is also the host of a radio show called Brunching with Franco. The show, airing Sundays at 12pm on AM 970 The Answer, aims to discuss the latest in fashion trends, dining, and celebrities. Franco has hosted celebrity guests such as Arthur Nascarella, George Lopez, and Melissa Gorga.
So how exactly did someone who is so involved in the entertainment industry become a restaurateur? A first generation Italian-American, Franco watched his grandmother and mother who took fresh ingredients from the garden and turned them into Italian dishes. Inspired by the use of these fresh ingredients, and wanting to bring something new to the Montclair dining scene, Porporino opened Fresco Da Franco, which has become popular among both locals and celebrities. The restaurant is also known for hosting several events, one of them being the exotic car rally.
Cars, Cruising, Celebrities, and More!
Mille Miglia Auto Club's name translates to "one thousand miles," and pays homage the Mille Miglia automobile endurance race, which runs between Brescia and Rome. The original race ran between 1927 and 1957. Today, the race runs on the same route, and only cars that took part in the original series of races are eligible to run in the current race. The 2017 edition of the Mille Miglia auto race took place this past May.
Montclair is going to be buzzing on Sunday. The morning of the rally begins with brunch for members of the Mille Miglia Auto Club at Fresco Da Franco. At noon, the police-escorted four-mile rally commences with Paul Teutul Sr. from American Chopper as the leader. After the rally, cars park in the center of town near Fresco Da Franco, and the public has an opportunity to admire the beautiful Italian designs up-close. At 1pm, Mikey Teutul and Franco Porporino are hosting the “Mama Giuseppina” meatball-eating contest. At 2pm, judging of the cars, prizes, and a live auction close the event.
In addition to the aforementioned celebrity appearances, The Real Housewives of New Jersey will also be in attendance at the event. If you're passionate about motorbikes and mopeds, look out for Ducati and Vespa who will also be there. This year's rally is generously sponsored by McLaren Bergen County, Lamborghini Paramus, Alfa Romeo, FIAT, and the Anthony Pope Law Firm.