What a Day! ‘Thank Goodness’ for Staff and the TGFS Organizers

Gunrock flexes as he poses for a photo with four people
Gunrock flexes for a Thank Goodness for Staff photo with the College of Letters and Science marketing and communications team, from left: Michael French, Heidi Sciutto, Becky Oskin, Kathleen Holder and Jeffrey Day.

Quick Summary

  • Staff Assembly puts on another great celebration
  • 6,134 RSVPs, 22 food trucks for Russell Field picnic
  • Cast your vote by June 14 for TGFS 2023 logo
Photography by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

Gunrock mobbed for photos! Twenty-two food trucks serving free lunches! Chancellor Gary S. May in a dunk tank!

It could be only one thing: Thank Goodness for Staff on Russell Field, last Wednesday (May 11), under sunshine with just a few clouds rolling by.

Chancellor May mingles in TGFS T-shirt
Making the rounds: Chancellor May, left, escorted by Molly Bechtel, past chair of Staff Assembly, both wearing their TGFS Cheeto-logo T-shirts.
See box at the bottom of this story for information on voting for next year’s TGFS logo.

No story about TGFS would be complete without adding to the acronym, to make it TGFSA: “Thank Goodness” for Staff Assembly, which organizes this celebration annually (and which resorted to virtual events the last two years because of the pandemic).

“Staff Assembly was thrilled to welcome staff back to in-person TGFS,” said Zoé Bolesta-Reynolds, Staff Assembly events chair who led the 2022 TGFS committee. She is the business relationship manager in Advancement Services.

“This long-standing tradition of recognizing and thanking staff with a picnic, time to relax and the opportunity to connect with colleagues felt especially poignant after two years of virtual celebrations,” she said.

She gave special thanks to all the TGFS volunteers who generously donated their earned release time in order to give back to the community and ensure the success of the event.

Food trucks lined up on Russell Field, people waiting in lines
What’s better than a buffet line? Twenty-two food trucks in a line!

Staff Assembly received 6,134 RSVPs for the May 11 picnic ... and photos prove that just about everyone showed up, grabbing their meals (with that many RSVPs, each food truck served an average of 279 lunches) and sitting down to eat with old friends and new friends (and even family members who also work for UC Davis), under tents or in the sun.

Two other food trucks served TGFS lunches in the Health Sciences District and at police-fire headquarters.

On Russell Field, picnickers visited the Vendor and Sponsor Showcase, where departments and units and outside organizations offered information about their services, and, in many cases, gave out swag!

TGFS picknicker, under bull's-eye-design umbrella
Hitting the bull’s-eye for shade ...
Artist draws caracature of a TGFS picnkicker
... and posing for a TGFS souvenir.
Large crwoed at TGFS Vendor and Sponsor Showcase
TGFS picknickers browse the Vendor and Sponsor Showcase on Russell Field.

Bolesta-Reynolds, the TGFS chair, summed up the day: “The weather was beautiful, the food trucks delivered manageable lines, the vendors shared a bounty of giveaways, the addition of student performers showcased the talents of UC Davis students, and Chancellor May returned to the dunk tank!

“Personally, I hope staff saw the picnic as a small token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the world-class institution that is UC Davis. I know seeing so many smiles filled my bucket. Thank Goodness for UC Davis Staff and Go Ags!”

Spinning for a prize at Vendor and Sponsor Showcase
Spinning for a prize at the Safety Services booth ...
TGFS picknicker thows ball at dunk tank target
... and throwing at target to dunk the Safety Services leader, Eric Kvigne.
Tuba sections breaks off from UC Davis Marching Band
The sousaphone players split off from the UC Davis Marching Band at TGFS.

Before and after the picnic

TGFS After Dark the night before (May 10) drew 359 RSVPs from alternate-shift workers. Three food trucks served lunch outside Putah Creek Lodge.

Friday night (May 13) brought the TGFS finale, a drive-in movie at the West Wind in Sacramento, with 260 RSVPs submitted for the screening of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Voting continues through 5 p.m. June 14 for next year’s TGFS logo (sorry, Cheeto, all good things must come to an end). View the finalists and cast your vote here. Look for the winner in the June 16 edition of Staff Voice.


Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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