This was to have been a blog celebrating our wonderful KOPS and TOPS accomplishments at our final IRD in Niagara Falls. As all of us are well aware, things changed! In mid-March, as “Safer at Home” proclamations were made throughout the U.S. and Canada, TOPS Board of Directors were just wrapping up our meeting. Little did we know what challenges and opportunities laid ahead of us in the intervening weeks. All of us were focused on getting back to our homes before airlines began to curtail flights.
Our Board, like you, have learned so much in the past months. We have adapted, done differently and kept our focus on you. Due to the Governor of New York’s proclamation, our IRD 2020 venue was closed. Travel restrictions placed on those going between certain states and between the U.S. and Canada still remain in effect at this writing. Rather than cancel the event, we decided to celebrate our 2019 International Winners and State/Provincial Royalty, along with their 2020 counterparts, in the same place in July 2021. See TOPS News and the Events page on our website. All State and Provincial recognition events have been rescheduled as well. Almost all have managed to find dates this fall and are providing new event details.
Among the many lessons learned has been an appreciation of the flexibility, adaptability, tenacity and determination of you, our members, to find new and creative ways to continue encouraging and supporting each other. Old ways that worked were reintroduced, and new, untested means were fearlessly tried. Through it all, you have stood strong together and continued in our mission of helping and supporting each other to take off and keep off pounds sensibly. To say the TOPS Board is proud of you is a huge understatement. You are TOPS, and you are AMAZING.
During the next few months, each Board member will be sharing with you at least one “Lesson Learned” during this time when all of us have had to adapt and chart a new course.
In addition, our President, Rick Danforth, will be kicking off his own blog in August.
Though the pandemic has definitely been an ill wind, it has blown some good. We have been tested, and we are not quitting! I would love to hear what lessons you’re learning during this time that have helped you become stronger and more determined.
By Christine Cortopassi August 11, 2020
Since our TOPS chapter meets at the YMCA, and it’s still closed, our group has been fortunate enough to meet at one of our local parks. We follow all the park’s rules — wear masks and practice social distancing. We conduct our meetings as usual, except we’re outside! It’s been great getting together, sharing our lives ups and downs, supporting and loving each other during these difficult times. We have 30 members in our chapter, and not everyone can come to the park, but we’ve been averaging almost 1/2 of our group each week. We also keep in touch with phone calls, e-mails, and cards. We all are so fortunate to have our TOPS friends!
By Nan Street July 23, 2020
Hoping for more help during this unprecedented prolonged period of isolation, without TOPS meetings or much of anything else. It is not business as usual. We need extra help during this extremely difficult time.
By Barbara Cady July 27, 2020
I am live streaming with everyone in the TOPS Members Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MembersofTOPS each Monday at 10 AM ET and TOPS President Rick Danforth is life streaming there each Friday at 10 AM ET. The videos are archived there and also have YouTube links to share. Over seven thousands members engage in helping and supporting each other every day there. All you need to do is request to join and answer the question. We are there solely to support each other.
By Rosemary Lyle July 22, 2020
Well it really doesn’t matter what is happening wherever. If we eat sensibly and enjoy the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables we improve our own immune system.
Follow the guidelines of our health experts.
get out in the fresh air and exercise.
TOPS is our best defence against this situation.
TOPS is our strength
By Eleanor Thompson July 22, 2020
We have been able to see each other on our meeting night thru zoom thanks to our leader Irean.
Thanks for the Blog.
By Diana Clark July 21, 2020
We are not able to meet at all due to the virus being bad here. We call, text and send cards a lot of our members don’t have internet access or a cell phone. Our scale is locked up at the city owned building where we meet. It has been a struggle cause we are mostly elderly some with health issues.
I really appreciate your videos and blogs they keep me inspired. I have been a KOPS since 2013 never was honored by anyone when I got to my 5 year status now headed toward 10 years probably won’t get anything for that either.
We have 2 KOPS this year I get to crown her so proud of her. We also have another one but she does not want to be in the graduation ceremony she has been in TOPS a long time but she finally reached her goal. I will try to make there accomplishments very special for them.
I will be in New York next year looking forward to it, it will be my third IRD in a row will miss them when they are gone.
Thanks again for helping keep me inspired and informed you truly keep me connected.
By Margie Dean July 21, 2020
Our meeting room is at a local hospital facility and no meetings allowed at the present time.
we are in the 12 member category which is a second deterrence. We do group messaging on Facebook and wait safely at home for the end of the pandemic. Thank you TOPS for keeping us connected with your blogs…..
By Wanda Jewett July 21, 2020
We HAVE been tested, as communities, as a country, and as individuals. Each of us can look at our situations and see where we have grown and sadly where we still need work. The blessing in all this is that we CAN work on our weaknesses and shore up our strengths. We can develop a better, stronger sense of community, by working and surviving together we become better citizens, and there are dozens of small and large efforts we can make that will help us to become stronger and healthier individuals. Thanks for reminding me, Barb, you and the other members of the board are on my gratitude list for all the things you’ve done to get TOPS members through the COVID era.
By Tammy Walker July 21, 2020
You never cease to reach my heart and mind. You inspirational words are so touching and thought provoking.
Once again, thank you!
By Sylvia Duncan July 20, 2020
You are so right and I look forward to more insights on the matter of adapting. Real voices, the good old telephone and some time dedicated to a chat , not just about food and exercise but also about families, friends reading, music, and new pastimes. It is our chance for even better connections. Thank you for your hard work in these challenging times .