An unknown author coined the phrase, "Attitude Determines Altitude," and Mary Bynum's determination has taken her to the top of mountains – literally. For her 50th birthday, she and her family and friends, summited Mount Whitney, which at 14,496 feet, is the highest mountain in the continental United States.
In addition to climbing mountains, Mary and her husband Greg, own Gregory D. Bynum and Associates, Inc., a full-service real estate company. They also have three children: Don, 28, David, 25, and Marley, 21, and a daughter-in-law named Jackie.
"I have a wonderful family, a husband who supports me in everything I do, and three great kids who are learning to 'give back' in their own ways," she says.
Known in the community for her volun-teering efforts, Mary has a passion to serve. When her kids were little, she began sitting on the Lori Brock Museum Board and participating in Junior League. "Junior League trained me and gave me the tools on how to be an effective board member. The volunteering comes from the heart; I needed the tools from one to give me the confidence to do the other," she says.
An advocate of youth programs, Mary worked part-time at Youth Connection from 1994-1998. She still sits on its board and helps with its annual fundraiser, Dinner at the Derby. The Youth Connection, a nonprofit started by the Bakersfield Junior League and Kern County Probation, matches at-risk youth, ages 7-12, to community resources. The program provides counseling, tutoring, sponsorship in sports, summer camps and and more.
"It works as a referral agency to services where problems can be dealt with before the youth becomes involved with the Juvenile Justice system," she says.
She recently took over chairmanship of the Vision Committee of the Women's and Girl's Fund of Kern County, which is managed by the Kern Community Foundation. At its annual Spring Luncheon this year, the committee awarded grants to the Girls Scouts, CSUB Foundation, and the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic.
In 1973, after graduating from CSUB in Sociology, her first job at the Kern County Welfare Department inspired her life-long dedication to service. In her capacity as an eligibility worker, she saw "extreme cases of disadvantaged people and people living in dire circumstances."
"I became very aware and in-touch with the needs of a lot of people. I learned that not everybody comes through this life with the same advantages and the same gifts. I learned that life is not fair," she says. "I have always felt in touch with the needs of the community."
Greg, her husband of 35 years, shares her commitment to volunteering. In 1993, they were asked to be co-chairs for CSUB's 1st annual "Alumni Fund Campaign." Since its inception, the fund has raised more than $1,000,000.
Joyce's Salad Supreme:
Combine in 8˝ X 11 glass dish:
1 pkg lemon jello
2 C hot water.
When cool add:
1 lg. can crushed pineapple
2 or 3 bananas
2 C miniature marshmallows
Refrigerate until solid.
In a sauce pan:
1 C pineapple juice
˝ C sugar
2 T butter
2 T flour.
Cook until thick, cool.
Fold in: 1 C whipped cream.
Pour this topping over the jello
Grate sharp cheddar cheese over the top (this makes it). Chill 'til ready to enjoy. I love this recipe at Thanksgiving, Easter, and Summer BBQ's. It is from my mother.