A OFFICER AND A BRIDE, By Dominic Serrao/Examiner
(August 26, 2009/Examiner). Clutching a framed photograph in hand, Tanya Hrehovcik of Little Falls in Passaic County approached the judges right before the auditions were about to end. Unlike other couples that auditioned during the day, she came without her fiancé, Daniel MacDonnell, an officer in the US Navy Reserves. He was on duty in Lakehurst preparing with his unit, which is to be deployed to Afghanistan in January 2010.Hrehovcik and MacDonnell are amongst twenty area couples that were selected as semi-finalists as part of Roman Jewelers’ luxury wedding giveaway to a couple that proves they can work together and make a difference in the community. The ‘The Roman Jewelers Wedding’ contest auditions held at the Bridgewater Commons Mall attracted over 70 couples. In an interview with the Examiner, Hrehovcik said, “I am thrilled and surprised to be selected as a semi-finalist.“ Upon hearing the news, she said her biggest concern was getting in touch with MacDonnell to let him know that they had made it through to the next round. MacDonnell, a resident of Berlin in Camden County, proposed to Hrehovcik on Holy Saturday right before Easter. He used a trail of freshly cut daffodils along with a series of notes and clues to lead her from church to her parents house with stops at her grandmother’s and aunt’s house. “At my parent’s house, he proposed in front of all of my extended family. It was extremely romantic,” she gushes. Each semi-finalist couple was randomly assigned a charitable partner. They are busy working on a ‘Good Deed Plan’, which will outline their approach and support in making a difference for their charity. Hrehovcik and MacDonnell are working with the Hunterdon County YMCA. “We are so thrilled to be able to directly give back to the YMCA and return their kindness,” she said. The ten couples with the most impressive plans will be chosen as finalists on Saturday August 29. Throughout September 2009, the couples will be required to execute their philanthropic initiative. To help the Roman Jewelers team get to know them better, Hrehovcik and MacDonnell have started an online video series on Facebook and YouTube detailing their stories.