Pendant winner is lucky in love

Some people choose do it on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. Others take extravagant measures to spell out the big question in fireworks over an ocean. Jim Passineau wanted to go with the traditional down-on-one-knee approach.

However, his engagement to his now-fiancee Meaghan Stackman turned out to be an unexpected fairytale when Passineau found out he had won a heart-shaped pendant covered in diamonds and rubies for his sweetheart.

The pendant, which holds 0.5 carat in diamonds and 0.5 carat in rubies, was designed by David Hannoush, owner of Hannoush Jewelers in Colonie Center, as a prize for a contest sponsored by the American Heart Association's awareness movement Go Red for Women.

The national program is designed to spread awareness about heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. For example, on Feb. 1, participants were encouraged to wear red clothing as part of the "National Wear Red Day," to help educate women about the dangers, specifically to females, of heart disease. Also in February, a monthlong campaign was held in which paper hearts were sold for $1 donations to the American Heart Association.

"The Go Red for Women movement is to inspire women to take care of their hearts and eat healthy," said Darlene Robbiano, American Heart Association director of Go Red for Women in Albany. Robbiano said that inspiration is important to help women protect themselves against their "No. 1 killer"heart disease.

But Go Red for Women seemed to inspire men as well, when Legrande Serras, owner of The Real Seafood Company, on Wolf Road, approached his companion, Hannoush, about ways they could get involved in the movement, and take the sale of the paper hearts one step further.

"We decided to get involved with selling the paper hearts for a drawing, and the winner of the drawing would win a pendant, which I would design," said Hannoush. According to Hannoush, some people wanted to donate more than the cost of the hearts, and would do so upon checkout at both Hannoush Jewelers and The Real Seafood Company.

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