While Charles and Mary Ann Pengelly are being recognized as 2023 Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year, the truth is their volunteerism knows no bounds.
Right from the time they wed, and over the years as they’ve moved a few times and raised five children, the Pengellys have been lending a hand to help all kinds of causes, whether they be one-off or ongoing.
“Because that’s what you do as a citizen,” says Mary Ann. “You pay back, that’s what we’ve always done since we’ve been married.”
That salt-of-the-earth humbleness is likely the reason Mary Ann’s first word was “Why?” upon first hearing she and Charles are jointly being recognized as Citizen of the Year on Friday.
“We do what we do because we love it, we volunteer because we love it,” she adds. “We weren’t expecting any recognition.”
Now that the shock has worn off, the Pengellys are looking forward to spending time with family and their many friends during the May 26 award ceremony, which as tradition calls for, kicks off a weekend of Beaver Valley May Days festivities.
The Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year award recognizes outstanding volunteer contributions to the Beaver Valley community and Charles and Mary Ann exemplify those qualities, the award committee explains.
They have been involved for many years with the Fruitvale Thrift Store, the Beaver Valley Library and Friends of the Beaver Valley Library, the Community Chest, Christmas Hampers and the list goes on.
“They quietly spend a majority of their time helping others and getting others involved,” the committee shares.
“This couple’s spirit of volunteerism is an inspiration to our community.”
To celebrate the Pengellys and all they do, the public and all past recipients are invited to attend the award presentation and reception at the Beaver Valley Curling Rink on Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. Afterwards, guests are invited to stay for the May Days fireworks.
Before moving to Fruitvale from Warfield in 1981, Mary Ann was a driving force behind raising money for the Children’s Development Centre in Trail. For two years she was tasked with holding the region’s first telethons to raise money for the cause. This exemplary school for children with disabilities was a first of its kind, and though it closed years ago, it still holds a special place in Mary Ann’s heart.