January 13, 2011

Baldwin Park Resident and Fiancé Hope to Win "I Love Lucy" Wedding

From San Gabriel Valley Tribune, by staff writer, Claudia S. Palma


It's a classic love story - Jonathan Moctezuma loves Belinda Campos and Belinda loves Lucy.

The love is so big for the "I Love Lucy" show that the couple hope to garnish enough online votes to win a dream wedding in Lucille Ball's hometown of Jamestown in New York, this summer.

"It's kind of perfect because he proposed two month's before (we found out about the contest)," said Campos, 25, of Ontario.

Campos and Moctezuma, 24, of Baldwin Park, are one of five finalist couples, and the only from California, vying for votes for the all-expense paid wedding in MediaOneBridal.com and The Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Center's Lucille Ball Hometown Wedding giveaway.

The wedding contest is being held in honor and in conjunction with Jamestown's celebration of Lucille Ball's 100th birthday and 60th anniversary of the "I Love Lucy" show.

Campos, who grew up in Baldwin Park, says the classic sitcom was a very important part of her upbringing in a Mexican-American home. Though she was born in Los Angeles, her first language was Spanish.

"I learned my first words of English watching the show," she said. "I was inspired seeing Ricky's struggles learning the American culture and language."

Campos said her and Moctezuma are similar to Lucy and Ricky.

"Desi and Lucy came from the East Coast to the West Coast to pursue their dreams, and Jonathan and I are from the West Coast hoping to go to the East Coast to pursue our dream and get married," she said.

The twosome have been together for six years and Moctezuma said at first, he thought it was just a small fascination Campos had with the show, but would soon realize how much of a fan she really was.

"My hair is usually short and I was growing it out a little last year, she doesn't like that but she didn't say anything this time," said Moctezuma. "She was glad because then she told me we're dressing up like Lucy and Ricky for Halloween and (the longer hair) is perfect."

Little did the couple know, they would soon have a chance to really be like Lucy and Ricky.

"I saw an announcement on Facebook about the contest and from there I was led to the contest website," said Campos. "Yes, I'm a Lucy fan club member (on Facebook)."

The contest began late last year and soon entries were coming in from all over the country.

"We had an overwhelming response from over 50 different states," said Rebecca Rosen, director of MediaOneBridal.com. "We were looking for quality entrants. There's a uniqueness to each couple."

Jamestown is proud to be the hometown of Lucille Ball, explained Rosen.

"The Arnaz family sits on the board of the center. They gave us their blessing and love the idea," she said. "We see (Lucy and Ricky) as a love story and we wanted to give some lucky couple the opportunity to have the most special day of their life in Jamestown."

Aside from filling out an application and submitting a photo to enter, couples had to create a 60-second video of why they should be chosen as the winning couple.

Friend Ruben Brambila helped create the video for Campos and Moctezuma which was created in black and white and includes the couple re-enacting a scene from an "I Love Lucy" episode where Desi Arnaz's Ricky Ricardo is worried he is losing his hair.

"That took a whole day to shoot," said Campos. "Everyone tells us if it was on the video alone we win, but we have to get votes."

Moctezuma's Ricky suffered a bit with some of the antics Campos' Lucy put him through but he said it was all for love.

"I didn't know vinegar burns (a little)," said Moctezuma of getting a little vinegar in his eyes and face during the video shoot. "I didn't mind it. We just have to enjoy it. Not a lot of people get this kind of opportunity."

Now the couple's campaign to garner more votes and win the contest is in full swing. They have created flyers and passed them out at various locations, contacted and done interviews on local news stations as well as local and national radio stations.

Family and friends were recruited to spread the word along with using their car as a mobile advertisement.

"I bought a very small Facebook ad, it's all I could (afford)," said Campos. "Posted on Twitter, Facebook. We've attended council meetings and contacted council members in Baldwin Park and Ontario to spread the word."

Campos said if they win, aside from marrying her beau, she is looking forward to being on the "I Love Lucy" set at the Desilu Playhouse.

"I want to see the memorabilia, her house that she grew up in, her tombstone is there," she said.

Moctezuma said he is looking forward to seeing Campos happy.

"Belinda made my decision easy for me of choosing her to spend the rest of my life with her. She is hardworking, kind," he said. "In our relationship I have never questioned her love or faithfulness."

The whole winning package includes an all-expense paid trip for two to Jamestown, a 1950s inspired all-inclusive wedding ceremony at the world famous Tropicana Room and cocktail reception at the Desilu Playhouse and Lucy-Desi Museum, as well as an all-inclusive honeymoon in Niagara Falls.

More than 25 wedding vendors from New York and Pennsylvania will collaborate for this unique event.

"We're all joining together and they're going to produce a beautiful, classy unforgettable wedding," said Rosen.

To vote and view the videos for each couple, visit www.lucilleballhometownwedding.com. Only one vote per IP address per day. Online voting ends Feb. 11 and the winning couple will get a very special Valentine's Day when the winner is announced on Feb. 14.

After the couple is chosen, online viewers will also be asked to vote on various wedding details such as the bride's dress, favors and more.

"I'll be grateful for whatever (the audience) chooses for us," said Campos. "Just to be able to go to New York."

Campos is a project coordinator with the Irwindale office of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and is also attending Claremont Graduate School. Moctezuma works in commercial pest control.

If the couple is not chosen, they still plan to have a very intimate wedding and ceremony later this year and still keep the '50s theme. But most of their earnings are going towards the house they are buying in Ontario.

"It's a fixer-upper," said Moctezuma.

Just a little home project the couple is looking forward to after the wedding.

"In the future, I can see us having our Ricky and Lucy moments at our home," said Moctezuma. "Hopefully we grow to see 100 together."

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