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Marriage Proposal Passes at 2011 RA

Delegate gets down on one knee while 8,000+ cheer and await answer.

July 05, 2011
By Cindy Long

At the 2009 RA in San Diego, Jose Alcala was on sign duty for the California delegation with Ashley Bettas. He held them, she wrote them, and he’d joke with her about her poor handwriting and how nobody could read her signs. He was trying his best to flirt, but wasn’t sure if it was working. Turns out Cupid couldn’t have done a better job if  he’d shot an arrow himself -- two years later, the two are engaged to be married, and it happened right here in Chicago on the RA floor.

“I was trying to think of a good place to propose, and thought maybe in New York, or somewhere like that,” Alcala said, “but all our stuff and our history revolves around Association business, so it seemed like the perfect occasion.”

Alcala approached the microphone, and in front of more than eight thousand people, asked Bettas if she would be his wife. He said he tried to hold back the tears, but he got choked up anyway. “It’s just who I am,” he said.

As everyone cheered, Alcala waited on bended knee for his answer.

“I was 99 percent sure she’d say yes, but you always have that little bit of nagging doubt,” said the Moreno Valley history teacher.

Then President Van Roekel walked up to the podium and asked the delegation, "All those in favor of the proposal please say 'aye!'" 

"Aye!," the delegation roared in response.

"All opposed say no," Van Roekel then asked, and the room fell silent.

Bettas also said aye, or maybe it was yes, but she was positive that she wanted to accept Alcala's proposal to marry him.

“I had no idea he was going to do it here,” Bettas, a first grade teacher, said. “When I finally realized what was happening, I was totally overwhelmed, I was speechless.”

As for where and when the wedding will be, Bettas says they have no idea. “I need to let it sink in first,” she said.

Maybe a summer wedding in the nation’s capital?

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