Wine, baked goods and furry friends sounds like heaven on earth.

That dream will be a reality at Sip & Paint at Griffin Pond, a fundraiser for the animal shelter organized by a team of Leadership Lackawanna’s Core Program Class of 2019-20. The event takes place Sunday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the shelter’s Community Room, 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp. Tickets cost $35, which benefits the team’s project to build an on-site sanitary clinic where minor medical procedures could be performed on shelter animals.

Baked goods also will be for sale at the event, including Pinot Noir Brownies. The recipe — which earned the cause a $50 gift card to Riccardo’s Market, 1219 Wheeler Ave., Dunmore, through Local Flavor Gives Back — came from team member Autumn Granza. The group also consists of Maura Mark, Matt Heimlich, Adam Witinski, Peter Gentile, Brittany Colon, Meghan Burns and Joe Paulowskey.

An avid baker, Granza wanted to include wine in the recipe to keep with the theme. She uses a dry pinot noir for both the batter and the frosting, which complements the chocolate flavor.

“The sprinkles on top just give it that little extra touch,” she said.

In addition to the baked goods (including homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats), guests can paint a paw-printed wine bottle and glass with the guidance of Spirited Art. There will be basket raffles and a 50/50 drawing at the BYOB event.

After the event, the team will continue to fundraise and host an unveiling ceremony. Griffin Pond director Ashley Wolo said the on-site clinic will be used for minor procedures, such as spaying and neutering, and will help to alleviate stress on the animals. The shelter also hopes to expand the offerings to the public at some point.

“We’re grateful for anything that helps us continue what we do,” Wolo said.

The team members — who represent local companies in fields including banks, manufacturing, education, and health and wellness — all count themselves as animal lovers who are happy to help an organization such as Griffin Pond. It all fits into their mission to make their region better.

“We’re all here because we want to give back to the community as well as develop those leadership skills,” Colon said. “It’s kind of a win-win.”

Brownies with purple sprinkles

Pinot Noir Brownies


Leadership Lackawanna Team Griffin Pond’s Pinot Noir Brownies

Brownie ingredients:

  • 1 cup melted butter (plus butter to grease baking dish)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons pinot noir
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Brownie directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing before each addition. Then, mix in vanilla and pinot noir.
  3. In another bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  4. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup pinot noir
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Frosting directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until incorporated. Then, stir in pinot noir and butter. Let the frosting chill before spreading on top of the brownies.
  2. Once the brownies are completely cooled and the frosting has chilled, evenly spread frosting on top of brownies.


If you go

  • What: Sip & Paint at Griffin Pond
  • When: Sunday, Jan. 26, 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Where: Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp.
  • Details: Tickets cost $35 and must be purchased in advance from the event’s Facebook page or at Proceeds benefit Leadership Lackawanna’s Core Program Class of 2019-20’s project to build a sanitary clinic for minor medical procedures on the shelter’s animals. To donate a basket or to the bake sale, email