What a very special IRD this was! I had the privilege of being at the IRD in Quebec 40 years ago as a young woman who had recently become a Coordinator and was so thrilled and excited to see the amazing accomplishments of our winners! It was there I realized that TOPS is about saving people’s lives. This year, as I completed my official duties as retiring president with our new president of TOPS, Rick Danforth, I find myself equally thrilled as TOPS members from every state and province celebrate taking and keeping off pounds sensibly for healthier lives.
TOPS continues to amaze the world with the success that is possible when we band together in common cause and support each other. A new record was set by our International King Jeff Yersich of Illinois who lost over 300 pounds to goal and joined with his three fellow International Royalty in achieving over 800 pounds lost to goal. Many others were acknowledged for milestone moments in their personal weight-loss journeys. As I presented awards with Rick and shook the hands of these remarkable people, all of the success I have witnessed flooded my memory. There is no doubt that TOPS works and that we are here for each other every step of the way!
A most cherished moment during this wonderful event was sharing with the audience the results of our 2017 Million Pounds Mission. As all watched, the Regional Directors selected a TOPS, KOPS and Chapter Mission Winner from their respective areas. Those winners will be listed in the October issue of TOPS News. Then came the big reveal of the total pounds lost by our TOPS and KOPS … 1,010,136.74. Over one million pounds!
This was absolutely the best retirement gift I could have ever received. It was made even sweeter by the generous donations of so many members for my name to be placed in the President’s Circle on the TOPS Heritage Society Legacy Wall. Those funds will be used to continue the good work of our organization.
I was asked what wish I still had as I retire as president and take on different challenges and responsibilities. It is simple. Give those you love the gift of TOPS this year. Pick a friend or family member who needs to make some changes to improve their health. Then, for their birthday or Christmas, give them a TOPS membership. I did this for my oldest son, who works shift work and whose health was at risk due to weight gain. I enrolled him online and purchased Real Life: The Hands-on Pounds-off Guide for him and sent him a card telling how much I loved him and wanted to see him around for many years. He lost 80 pounds with TOPS help and support, and his doctors are delighted as is he … and his mom!
Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you!