Designer Teams with American Heart Association

Denver-based jewelry designer John Atencio recently joined forces with a charity organization in a project that tied together emotions left from both the death of the designer’s father and the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

Like many designers, Atencio was inspired to create message jewelry that honored victims lost to the terrorist attacks. But instead of the patriotic symbols that were common last year, Atencio chose to create a heart pendant for the families of the 25 American Airlines and United Airlines flight attendants who died on the four hijacked flights. Each pendant was accompanied by a note that read, “Our hearts go out to you.”

Not long after, Atencio took the heart designs to the American Heart Association as part of a project to help raise funds to help fight heart disease, which claimed the life of Atencio’s father when the designer was just 20 years old.

Atencio plans to donate 50 of his heart pendants—worth a total of $10,000—and one diamond pavé heart worth $1,000 to benefit the American Heart Association. The hearts were slated to debut during a charity fashion show in Denver in late September.