Event set for Aug. 31 at Water’s Edge Church

TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), now 75 years old, was founded in 1948 around a kitchen table when Esther Manz when met with two friends and a cousin’s wife at a social center in Milwaukee, Wis. They hoped to support each other to thinner figures and better health. The local newspaper printed an article about the new group and so many people showed up at the next meeting that they could hardly fit in the meeting room. 

In 1951 the TOPS story appeared in LIFE magazine. At that time there were already 2,500 members in six states. By the end of that year there were chapters in every state. TOPS was incorporated in 1952 and by 1955 the first chapter was started in Canada. There are currently 180,000 members in 10,000 chapters world wide.

In 1966 a long-time dream of Esther’s was realized with the establishment of the Obesity and Metabolic Research Program. By 1994 the Medical College of Wisconsin had received contributions in excess of $4.5 million from TOPS Club, Inc. for their continuing studies in that field. 

An independent study of 2010 followed 42,500 people over three years and found that TOPS worked as well as commercial weight-loss programs, but at a fraction of the cost. 

The TOPS program is one of balanced meals including all food groups. Moderation is key and exercise is encouraged. Chapters meet weekly for a weigh-in for accountability, programs, and fellowship. 

The local chapter of TOPS meets Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. in the community room at Water’s Edge Church, 309 Holden Avenue, Henning. Visitors are welcome to come and observe a meeting or to join the group.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of this organization, there will be a special TOPS meeting on August 31 at 10 a.m. at Water’s Edge Church, followed by a luncheon. All previous members or anyone interested in learning more are invited to join the group for this event.