“I’m going to be with him,” Dana Straub thought when she saw Christopher Rafferty walk into the party one fateful night in June of 2014. Dana’s cousin, Amanda, had been battling cancer and took the opportunity of a week off chemotherapy to throw a party. Dana thought it was going to be a ton of people. She was surprised to find only three other people there until Chris walked in with his friend.
It was an instant connection.
Dana did not skip a beat and invited Chris to join them for a group getaway to the Jersey shore. Sadly,
Amanda passed away a few short weeks later, and Chris returned to pay his respects. The two continued to talk over the course of the summer.
Before returning to York College for his senior year, Chris read a text message off his phone to Dana: “…. Will you be my girlfriend?”
Chris would commute the two hours home almost every weekend to see Dana, except for the week of vacation days she used for a staycation at York College. Upon graduation, they both were seeking employment.
Dana reached out to a friend who let them know that Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano was hiring. Neither expected that both would get interviews, let alone be hired, but on a brisk February morning they jumped on the EL and came to One Commerce Square for separate interviews.
Through almost five years, multiple department changes, and lunch breaks together, they continue to thrive as a couple in love. Chris is now part of Pond Lehocky’s event team while Dana works tirelessly to serve our worker’s compensation clients.
“We know what is happening at the office, so we know each other’s stress levels, but don’t bring it home,” Chris said. “Communication is easier because we work at the same company and see each other each day.”
“We did not tell anyone we were dating when we interviewed,” Dana shared. “We were in different departments, so we would only see each other during lunch. It did take a little while for people to start to ask, but we never denied it.”
As their annual cruise vacation approached, Chris decided it was the perfect opportunity to ask Dana that all-important question. “I was driving back from working an event and was on the phone with one of my mom’s friends,” Chris explained. “She worked in the jewelry industry and was able to help me figure out the best option.”
Dana’s Dad had suffered a work injury the week before the families were supposed to depart on the cruise. Chris visited him at the hospital to ask for permission. The response was as priceless as their love,
“I love you like a son. You are both great together.”
It was planned. The ring was safe with Chris’ brother until they docked in Bermuda on June 16, 2019. The families arrived at the Moongate, which is rumored to provide eternal love to those that kiss under it. They posed for a photo when Chris grabbed Dana’s arm and got down on one knee, “I love you and want to spend the rest of our lives together.” Chris waited anxiously before Dana finally got her voice back and responded, “Yes, let’s do it!”
Back aboard the Royal Caribbean ship wearing custom t-shirts saying, “I asked” and “I said YES,” the families celebrated together and enjoyed the remainder of the cruise.
“There are not set plans yet,” Dana said. “We are just enjoying this new phase of our lives. We do have our next cruise booked though for March of 2021 to Mexico and Honduras. Maybe that will be our honeymoon?”
Dana and Chris are grateful to have worked in different roles during their tenure thus far at Pond Lehocky. They say that the experience has opened their eyes more to hear first-hand stories, see lives torn apart and how to help with those suffering and in pain.
“It puts everything in perspective. It truly was fate that we came here,” Chris said. “With Amanda bringing us together, now we are able to help a lot of people with these jobs.”