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Photo courtesy of Linh Nguyen.

On Friday, Sept. 28, the University hosted its annual Facilities Appreciation Picnic to celebrate the Facilities staff for their year-round work.

The picnic took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Poe Field and offered an assortment of buffet-style foods and dozens of tables, as well as a live band composed of “different members from different departments within facilities,” according to Kristen Sobolewski, a member of the Picnic Planning Group.

Sobolewski, a former Department of Public Safety dispatcher who now works for Facilities, said that she was pleased with how the picnic turned out.

“There was good feedback from the last year that they did the picnic,” said Sobolewski. “I think people really enjoy the gathering and getting together with their employees and relaxing, enjoying the day.”

Additionally, Sobolewski noted two worthwhile additions to the picnic — raffle tickets and a sustainability effort in which staff were asked to bring their own reusable cups, utensils, and plates.

“It’s been an interesting experience,” said Sobolewski. “The learning curve was a lot, but I think it’s a good message and people seem to be taking it in stride.”

“It’s good to get everyone together from the whole Facilities department, because we don’t really get together throughout the year for anything like this,” said Ellaree Gibbs, who has worked at the University for 32 years. “It’s good to see everyone from the different departments in facilities, and just to socialize, get to know each other, and eat good food.”

Caleb South ’19, a student volunteer at the picnic, worked at the event for his second year in a row because he thought it has been “a really good opportunity to help.”

“People who work in Facilities do so much for us everyday and I don’t think that we realize that,” said South. “I thought that it was really the least we could do to help out with this.”

Gary Pepek, an engineer at the the Princeton Energy Plant, or “Co-Gen” Plant, also expressed appreciation for the picnic.

“I think it’s great that Princeton has gone back to doing these things, appreciating the hard work and effort that a lot of people put into this place,” he said.

Tony Brooks, another facilities staff member, echoed Pepek’s statements and said he found the picnic to be “a nice time for everyone.”

“Everybody gets together and you’re with people you haven’t seen in a while from last year,” Brooks explained.

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