APU Employees Enjoy Luau, Family-Style

by Katelyn Noll '07

On Thursday, June 7, members and guests of the APU community had fun in the sun at the annual APU Employee Family Picnic, brought by the Office of Human Resources. Families were treated to popcorn and cotton candy, a dunk tank and dessert competition, and a hula show featuring members of university leadership. The event was held on the West Campus lawn from 3-7 pm.

The picnic had a luau theme, and members of the Human Resources team showed their spirit. Anissa Pereira, administrative assistant in HR, led her coworkers in a beautiful hula performance, which turned playful as it became apparent that Pereira's pupils preferred a more interpretive style of dancing to the slow and rhythmic form of their teacher. Whether they watched Pereira's skilled technique or her coworkers' shenanigans, attendees were delighted by the show.

The youngest children loved the face painting, petting zoo, and bounce house, while the surf simulator machine was popular with the teenagers, who enjoyed the challenge of staying on a board while it rotated and tipped. Adults enjoyed the karaoke machine, and people of all ages enjoyed making a splash by dunking APU leadership, who showed their playful side at the luau. Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Terry Franson, Ph.D., sacrificed himself in the dunk tank, as did Executive Director of Finance and Interim Chief Financial Officer Steve Gray as well as Executive Director for the Office of University Relations David Peck.

As fun as the day was, that wasn't the only purpose for the picnic. "This is an important event," said Ruth Loisel, assistant director of HR. "We do this every year because we value family at APU." In fact, in their efforts to make the picnic enjoyable for all ages, HR spent approximately three months planning it. Loisel and her team look forward to seeing the culmination of their efforts each year.

"My favorite part of the picnic is seeing everybody there," said Loisel. "I love to see all of the families, to see people relax." Judging by the amount of people, the smiles on their faces, and the great food and community, the Office of Human Resources should consider the event a success.