October 4, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 53°F


Chocolate date to benefit SPCA

This Valentine’s Day, a sophisticated evening of sipping wine and savoring chocolate truffles is an affordable way to show love in more ways than one.

For lovebirds and singles alike who can wait a week to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Rogue’s Harbor Inn in Lansing, N.Y., is hosting the “Wine and Chocolate for Paws and Claws” fundraiser to benefit the Tompkins County SPCA from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18.

For a $15 ticket, attendees will sample a variety of wine from 11 vineyards along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail as well as handmade artisan chocolates from Life’s So Sweet, a candy shop in Trumansburg, N.Y.

The businesses have donated the products for the event, and all admission proceeds will go directly to the SPCA. Rogue’s Harbor is also donating 10 percent of its dinner sales that evening.

“We’re so appreciative,” said Maggie Thomas, director of development and marketing at the Tompkins SPCA. “And it’s a great opportunity for the wineries to showcase their wears, and for Life’s [So Sweet] to drum up some new business.”

Rogue’s Harbor approached the SPCA and local businesses to organize this fundraiser, but they have been orchestrating fundraisers for local nonprofits for years.

“We try to do as much community-wise as possible,” said Sandra Pierzinski, the events coordinator for Rogue’s Harbor ballroom. “It’s cold outside, and the animals need our help.”

Attendees can also expect a wine trivia quiz with prizes and a wine-tasting lecture from Kit Kalfs, the tasting room manager at Sheldrake Point vineyard in Ovid, N.Y. He said this event, while supporting a worthy cause, will also be educational for aspiring wine connoisseurs.

“I’m going to talk about the four S’s of wine appreciation: see, smell, sip and savor,” he said.

Darlynne Overbaugh, owner of Life’s So Sweet, said she has participated in SPCA fundraisers for two years. For her, the cause is personal, after her mother adopted her best friend, a Maine coon cat she named Domino, from the local SPCA.

“It meant so much for my mom to be able to adopt a cat from the SPCA not just to have a fun, furry companion but also to help the SPCA’s no-kill policy,” she said.

Overbaugh will also give a lecture about pairing wine to their chocolate treats, including hand-dipped fruits and their signature root beer float truffle.

“I’m really looking forward to helping people discover the possibilities of combining wine with our chocolates,” she said. “I guarantee there will be some surprise combinations.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Rogue’s Harbor at 533-3535.