Barb Pennell dresses as the Easter bunny and delivers treats to Vavenby children on April 12 while being escorted by the Vavenby Fire Department. This is just one of many acts of volunteering Pennell engages in throughout any given year. Photo submitted

Going above and beyond the call of duty

“She does it out of the goodness of her heart … she loves seeing the results.”

When asked what drives his wife, Barb Pennell, to be such an avid volunteer and why she’s so devoted to lending her time and energy to others, Tim Pennell answers simply.

“(It’s) just her love of life and wanting to see other people happy. That’s really all she wants in life, to see others happy and she always puts others ahead of herself,” said Tim.

Tim said he’s known Barb for 30 years and she’s always been that way. Whether helping out at the local school, community events, or being involved with the fire department, she always finds a way to volunteer.

This Easter she suited up in an Easter bunny outfit, put on her COVID-19 mask just to be safe, and had the Vavenby Fire Department escort her around town while she handed out candy to local kids.

Not only does she enjoy volunteering, but Tim said she’s often the one to take the reins when no one else steps forward — if something needs to be done, Barb has no problem taking charge and making it happen.

“It’s the same with Christmas, she goes all out at Christmas and she never tells me the truth about expenses,” Tim recalled with a laugh.

“I don’t even ask anymore I just pay. She’s really big on making sure the local kids have a good time. She dresses up in the parades just to give candy to kids. No other reason.”

Barb does all this on top of her day job, which is managing a trailer park in Vavenby where she deals with the tenants and keeps up all the lawn maintenance. When all else fails she just tells Tim when he needs to fix something or needs to plow the snow.

While Barb hasn’t any altruistic endeavours lined up at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s hopefully only a matter of time before she starts putting her costumes back on and bringing cheers to Vavenby event attenders.

“She does it out of the goodness of her heart. She enjoys seeing smiling faces and you’ll see her rushing around at the Christmas dinners and she won’t even have dinner herself, that’s just the way she is. We have to give her hell about it sometimes and make her sit down and eat,” said Tim.

“She just loves doing it. She loves seeing the results.”

Would you like to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond to serve the community? We’d love to hear from you! Phone the Clearwater Times at 250-674-3343 or email

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