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Volunteer Central’s Volunteer of the Month: Dave and Melissa Lorenson


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Written by Ryan Charles Parker // Photo: Red Deer Royals

Beloved is a good performance. But what is a movie without extras? How can a play proceed without the make-up artists? It takes work outside of the limelight for entertainment to be what it is. There must be people to keep the band marching.

In this case, David and Melissa Lorenson do just that. Literally.

They both volunteer for the Red Deer Royals. As David explained, “Red Deer Royals (are) a Marching/Parade/Show band that has members that range from 12-21 years old.”

Both David and Melissa help to maintain the Red Deer Royals website, which is no easy task. The site is informative, useful and easy to navigate. And David and Melissa keep it that way. Almost all of the information about the Red Deer Royals can easily be found within it.

But their contributions do not end there. Both David and Melissa do additional work for the Royals. David holds the title of Westerner Events Coordinator, and Melissa does a large chunk of Public Relations for the organization.

But that still doesn’t exhaust their work with the organization. As David told me, “…we are also chaperones and we help other parents understand the requirements for fundraising/volunteering to help keep the organization working as smoothly as possible.”

Their work is a family affair. Their children are members of the band. Initially hesitant to become involved themselves, they eventually decided to play the integral role in the organization that they now do.

Their volunteer work extends past working for the Royals. David volunteers for the Red Deer Rebels. “I am helping out with the stats, video replay, +/-, goal judge (whatever is needed).”

Both David and Melissa volunteered for the Winter Games last year, in various roles.

Although Melissa has focused on her work with the Royals lately, she has a history of volunteering. As she explained to me, “I have devoted most of my volunteer time to the Red Deer Royals in the last few years however I did volunteer with the Winter games and also a little bit with Girl Guides.” And she wants to do more in the future: “I have put my name forward to help with the Red Deer Festival of Performing Arts.”

It should be mentioned that both David and Melissa do all of this volunteering while maintaining full-time jobs, which makes their contributions to the community all the more impressive. David is a System Analyst with the Red Deer Public School District and Melissa maintains student records at Lindsay Thurber.

The bottom line is that, although they may not share the limelight with the Red Deer Royals, they are integral to its function. Their work deserves to be recognized, and that is the reason why Volunteer Central selected them as co-winners of the Volunteer of the Month. David and Melissa, you certainly deserve it.

Thank you for keeping the drums beating.


If you know someone in our community that is doing great things, we want to hear about them! Make a nomination for our Volunteer of the Month award by visiting

10 Places to Volunteer for Mental Health


Volunteer Central strives to build a strong, connected and engaged community through volunteerism.

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Downtown Business Spotlight: Tribe

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This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Tribe! This unique restaurant is located right on Ross Street (4930 Ross Street) and offers a menu inspired from places all around the world. We sat down with manager, Brandon Bouchard, to learn more!

What is your business?

Tribe is a restaurant and bar located in the heart of Red Deer’s downtown on the Ross St Patio.

When did your business open?

Our space has been open for roughly 4 years. In that time we’ve expanded and doubled in square footage and also tripled our staff.

What makes your business unique?

We believe we have the “sexiest” room in town. Our guests are often commenting positively on the space and how much they love the warm ambiance. “There’s no other place like this in Red Deer”, “I feel like I’m in another city”, or just “Wow” are the words we hear the most. Our “Modern World Food” is very popular and is inspired from regions around the globe. And one of the main reasons we continue to remain a hot spot in the downtown, we believe, is our staff. Our team is absolutely amazing. Friendly, funny, and flirty… the staff’s number one focus is the guest experience and it shows. Our room is often filled with laughter and huge smiles. Our goal is that no one leaves hungry, and everyone leaves happy!

Our slogan is “Eat a Little. Drink a Little. Flirt a Little. Tell Your Most Awesome Stories.”

What are some products/services that you offer?

Aside from the obvious dine-in and takeout options we also offer private party bookings and can typically cater to groups of easily 40-50 guests. We also offer the occasional theme or event nights such as Tapas nights, Wine Tasting events, Holiday Parties and more!

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Tribe, as well as it’s sister store Sunwork’s Living, are located downtown because Red Deer’s downtown is the place to be! To be surrounded by so many other unique shops and businesses makes being in the area a truly wonderful experience and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

In order for any downtown to be vibrant, the citizens need to occupy that space. With the growing number of retail shops, restaurants and bars, and other services that can be found in the area it’s no wonder folks are visiting the downtown more than ever. Shopping local and supporting small businesses is important now more than ever and with endless locally owned businesses in the area it’s no wonder we are seeing more vibrancy in the area, and we believe this trend will continue to attract NEW businesses downtown.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… most everything you might need or want can be found in one attractive and exciting neighbourhood, and your friends are probably there too.

Looking for some “Modern World Food” for dinner or maybe looking at attending one of their event nights? Check out Tribe’s social media pages and website for more information!





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Penhold Flight Instructor Releases Updated Instruction Manual For the 21st Century

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Sky Wings Aviation founder Dennis Cooper lives to fly.

“2020 marks 50 years of flying for me,” said Cooper in a phone interview.  “I was a cadet and part of the glider program but got my pilots license in 1971 at Cold Lake before I even had my drivers license.”

Cooper later earned his Commercial license under Cecil Sorenson and other seasoned ex-Canadian Air Force pilots who transferred their tremendous knowledge base.  Working with Johnson Air Services and Pultz Aviation, he obtained his instrument rating and began his pilot career in earnest.

“One of the tools I had as a young pilot was the Pultz Instructor Manual and sometimes he (Pultz) would ask me questions and I would offer input,” he remembered.  “The original book was a 3-ring binder and we used that format for a long time at Sky Wings as well.”

Fast forward to the present.

“With current technology, many of our students wanted the manual in an electronic form so now instead of just having a softcover book that gets scuffed, dirty and ripped we now have a hardcover AND an electronic version for use everywhere,” added the instructor.  “Since the original book was written, much had changed.”

Changes to the original include an index which the first book did not have according to Cooper, modified levels of instructors, GPS information which did not exist years ago, procedures and general knowledge brought about by technology.

“We kept the artwork from the original,” said Cooper.  “It’s great and captures what we wanted.  We also added enhanced study and review questions based on feedback from students who have been through testing. The result is now a 558 page Instructors Manual that can follow a pilot from the beginning of their career to their end goal, no matter what that looks like.”

The new updated manual can be used in conjunction with Transport Canada publications.  It can adequately prepare a commercial pilot for the Transport Canada Flight Instructor written examination, the in-flight training and ground instruction, as well as the test flight.

Priced at $99 for the hardcover and $90 for the softcover, the “Cooper Flight Instructor Manual” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and 3 flight suppliers at present.

“I bought Sky Wings Aviation in 1982 and even today I still feel the same when a new student flies for the first time.  I am excited when our students enter the plane, travel the runway and rise into the air for the first time for their first circuit, then return,” said Cooper whose wife Sherry also teaches at the school.  “I enjoy watching the transfer of knowledge from instructor to student, but most significantly, watching them conquer the air just like the Wright Brothers 118 years ago.”

Cooper is not finished yet with 3 more books ready to rewrite for the 21st century.

For more information on Sky Wings Aviation and the 9th Edition of the Cooper Flight Instructors Manual, go to:

Home – Skywings Aviation


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june, 2021

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