Member Spotlight: Arlene Illa

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Member Spotlight: Arlene Illa

Arlene has been a San Francisco 49ers fan since 1981. Her friend had season tickets back then and she attended many games at the Stick. Later, she became a season ticket holder herself. Her passion for the Niners is evident in her love and knowledge of the history of the players, the plays, the rivalries and the coaches. In 2014, the 49ers opened the museum at Levi’s stadium and Arlene was there to welcome fans and visitors as the doors opened for the first time. If you have the good fortune to run into Arlene while she is working at the 49ers museum, you would be impressed with her ability to run down Jerry Rice’s stats, as she points to footballs suspended overhead, representing his touchdown receptions. Her face lights up when she’s talking about the G.O.A.T., her favorite player, Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time. She even journeyed to Canton, Ohio in 2010 for the Hall of Fame induction of Jerry Rice.

Her enthusiasm for educating museum-goers with facts is natural for Arlene, an Elementary School Teacher for the past 31 years. Currently she teaches 5thgraders math and social studies and her kids definitely know she is a Niner fan by the memorabilia on her desk, and of course her stories. When asked about her favorite play, she did not hesitate, “it was NaVorro Bowman’s interception return for an 89-yard touchdown against Arizona, the last game at Candlestick in 2013.” Arlene has such a love for our Niners!When asked what being a member of Ladies of the Empire means to her, she quickly responded, “die hard Niner fans who always cheer on our team, help out our community, and it’s a sisterhood.” Good women doing great things and loving football. What could be better?