Inside east sacramento sep 2016

Page 30



o say that Mary and Bill Kuyper have a full schedule is an understatement. How much of an understatement? Let’s start with their full-time jobs: Bill is an ornamental iron contractor who’s been commissioned by hospitals, hotels, restaurants and private residents. Mary is a facilities manager for the state with a background in interior design. But the East Sacramento couple also runs a busy side business: a wedding floral

jL By Jessica Laskey


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company called Garden Wishes. And they volunteer their time with local organizations, including Sacramento Event Crew, the Sacramento International Airport Ambassadors, the Sacramento Zoo and Friends of East Sacramento. “We like doing lots of different things,” says Bill, who just completed a stunning metal sculpture for Sutter Hospital as a memorial to a 12-yearold patient. “We volunteer and we travel,” Mary concurs. (They make a point to travel every six weeks or so.) This shared affinity for spending time helping others and exploring the world is something the Kuypers discovered early on in their 20-year marriage. On one of their first dates after meeting at the Sacramento Tall

Club, they scooped ice cream at the zoo’s annual Ice Cream Safari. That was more than 21 years ago, and the Kuypers still volunteer for the event every year. As Airport Ambassadors, the Kuypers help out at the airport information booth, telling travelers about local tourist attractions and answering questions. “We understand travel because we do it so often,” Bill explains. “People are tired and cranky because they’ve just gotten off a flight, so we like to help out.” “Then, when we’re at other airports as travelers ourselves, we like to stop by the information booth and chat with the volunteers,” Mary adds. “Talking to so many people is like studying psychology. You learn how to

interact with so many different kinds of people.” This love of conversation has served the couple well as volunteers at the California State Fair for the Sacramento County booth and at the California Grown Floral booth demonstrating how to make wedding bouquets. For the past four years, they have volunteered at McKinley Rose Garden through the nonprofit Friends of East Sac. They oversee the garden’s annual winter pruning, which brings nearly 100 volunteers together on a Saturday morning each January to prune 1,200 rosebushes. Bill has also lent his metal talents to the arbors decorating the perimeter, as well as to reinstalling the wrought-iron trellis