Staff Fest adds an hour; popular features return

By Leslie King | Emory Report | May 14, 2014

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Participants in the Staff Fest Fun Run warm up before the two-mile race. Emory Photo/Video.

Staff Fest, Emory's annual employee appreciation day, kicks off at noon Friday, May 16, with an expanded schedule of games, music, dancing and food. This year's main event on the Quad starts an hour earlier than in the past, giving attendees more time to celebrate.

The time was extended after several departments said adding an hour would help with coordinating coverage in their offices so all employees would have an opportunity to participate in the fest, according to Kay Manning, manager of employee services in the Division of Human Resources.

Another reason for extending the time was better coordination with the Fun Walk and Fun Run. "These races end close to noon and this will allow employees to go directly to Staff Fest versus having a break when the start was at 1 p.m.," Manning explains.

This year's Staff Fest theme is Emory Olympics, chosen through an employee contest. Enid Sullivan from the Office of Research Administration suggested the winning theme, earning a free Staff Fest t-shirt and a $25 gift card to Emory's Barnes and Noble bookstore.

Getting physical

The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), which coordinates the physical activity events for Staff Fest, is getting into the spirit of the Emory Olympics theme, awarding prizes in the Fun Run and Fun Walk.

"We are supporting the Emory Olympics theme by awarding medals to our first, second and third place runners for both men and women of six age groups, and volleyball teams, complete with a three-tiered podium," says Diane Weaver, FSAP wellness specialist. "This is the first year we are recognizing the top three, not just top two, runners from each age group."

The two-mile Fun Run begins at 10:30 a.m. and the one-mile Fun Walk at 11 a.m. Both are held in Lullwater Preserve. "All participants have a chance to win prizes such as gym memberships, restaurant gift cards, workout gear and more," says Weaver.

The annual refereed volleyball tournament is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Quad. It can accommodate 20 teams on two courts, Weaver says, and there remains room in the competition for a few more teams.

Teams are limited to 10 players with a maximum of six on the court at a time. All team captains must ensure at least six players are participating at all times during each of the games or forfeit. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.

Food and entertainment

Back by popular demand are food tastings from some of America To Go's catering vendors. Small servings and bite-sized samples from the restaurants and caterers signed on with America To Go will be available on the Quad beginning at noon while quantities last.

Refreshments of ice cream, popcorn and soft drinks will also be available.

Staff Fest attendees can learn more about Emory's programs and resources by visiting Emory Central on the Quad. Tables with information, giveaways and even games and prizes will be set up by departments and vendors inside and outside the University.

Interactive games and activities — including a basketball hoop shot, a rock-climbing wall and three caricature artists — will be available.

If it rains, the celebration will move to the lower level terrace of the Dobbs University Center for refreshments only.

Human Resources reminds employees that Staff Fest is for current staff and retirees only. Family members will not be admitted.