TOPS Celebrates Winning ‘Losers’
Aug 06, 2013 | 1338 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

TOPS Celebrates Winning ‘Losers’

International Royalty and Division Winners Lose Combined Total of More than 3,200 Pounds

MILWAUKEE, WI – Recognition is an important element of any journey to a healthier lifestyle — whether you’ve completed a small victory or reached the ultimate goal. Members of TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, were recently celebrated for their weight-loss efforts at its annual three-day event, International Recognition Days (IRD). This year’s event took place July 18 through July 20 in Calgary, Alberta. The festivity honored TOPS award winners who, with determination, perseverance, and support from fellow members, achieved the greatest weight loss in their category in 2012.

Wendy Vaux of Greenfield Park, Quebec, was crowned 2012 International Queen with an incredible total weight loss of 209.5 pounds. James Murphy of Aylesford, Nova Scotia, 2012 International King, lost an impressive total of 137.5 pounds. Royalty are those individuals who, at the end of the year, have officially recorded the largest weight loss from their original, starting weight to goal weight, regardless of the time taken to reach goal.

“Like many others, I’ve yo-yo dieted all my life,” says Vaux. “I’ve tried every diet under the sun. But on April 8, 2011, I was admitted to the hospital. The doctors thought I had had a heart attack, but they couldn’t run any tests, as I was too large to fit in the machines. They told me I’d have to wait until the following Monday to see if another local hospital had an angiogram table that could hold my weight. Throughout that weekend in the hospital, I was thinking, ‘It’s finally time for a lifestyle change.’ I joined TOPS on May 2, 2011, at 359.5 pounds. I love going to meetings each week. Everyone is so encouraging. I was so happy to reach my goal weight of 150 pounds on September 24, 2012 (my 24 year wedding anniversary), going from a 6XL to wearing a size 10. What a way to enjoy life with my grandson and family! I love running into someone I’ve known for most of my life and seeing the confused look on his or her face when they don’t recognize me. The reaction of shock when I tell them who I am is priceless.”

Notes Murphy, “I’ve had two heart attacks and was on 40 units of insulin. I knew I had no other choice but to drastically change my lifestyle. I was only 56, and I had a lot to live for. Three friends suggested that I join their TOPS chapter. I took their advice and joined on January 13, 2011, weighing 342 pounds. It was scary walking in the door at first. By December 31, 2011, I had lost 55.75 pounds. I was told that I had inspired others with my success story. This motivated me to lose the rest of my weight. I feel wonderful and alive! I’m no longer taking insulin and many of the other medications I was on. Changing my eating habits was hard, but I did it. I eat a very well balanced diet now, with a lot of healthy foods. I slowly incorporated exercise into my daily routine. I walk for one or two hours a day. When I started it was a chore; now I truly enjoy it. Wearing my new smaller-sized clothes makes me feel good about myself. I was always a ‘big boy’ and everyone called me Big Jim - never just Jim. Goodbye forever, Big Jim! Now, it’s Slim Jim!”

“TOPS’ founder, Esther Manz, felt that anyone who achieved their goal of losing weight should be treated like royalty,” says TOPS president Barbara Cady. “Though purely symbolic, these winners embody the best of what TOPS is all about:  real people, real weight loss, through healthier lifestyles, personal accomplishment, and overall wellness. TOPS has been by these members’ sides every step of the way on their weight-loss journey and is proud to provide the support and motivation to sustain their remarkable achievements.”

International Royalty and Runners-up include:

• International Queen:  Wendy Vaux; Greenfield Park, Quebec; 209.5 lbs.

• International King:  James Murphy; Aylesford, Nova Scotia; 137.5 lbs.

• International Queen Runner-up:  Beverly Wilkerson; Crocker, Mo.; 200 lbs.

• International King Runner-up:  Jason Downing; Wheeling, W. Va.; 130.25 lbs.

International Division Winners are members who lost the most weight of all TOPS members in their weight division during 2012:

• Division 1, First Place, Female:  Jessica Ames; Gouverneur, N.Y.; 146.75 lbs.

• Division 1, First Place, Male:  Gregory Martinez; Sacramento, Calif.; 120.5 lbs.

• Division 1, Second Place, Female:  Colleen Spezia; University Place, Wash.; 130.75 lbs.

• Division 1, Second Place, Male:  Dan Colby; Banning, Calif.; 114 lbs.

• Division 2, First Place, Female:  Angela Morfin; Fort Worth, Texas; 108.5 lbs.

• Division 2, First Place, Male:  Mike Vorhees; Kansas City, Mo.; 102.5 lbs.

• Division 2, Second Place, Male:  James Murphy; Aylesford, Nova Scotia; 79 lbs.

• Division 3, First Place, Female:  Myra Mayle; McConnelsville, Ohio; 103.25 lbs.

• Division 3, First Place, Male: Vincent Ward; Dayville, Conn.; 71 lbs.

• Division 3, Second Place, Female:  Suzanne Juarez; Schaller, Iowa; 101.5 lbs.

• Division 3, Second Place, Male:  Roger Passini; White Lake, Mich.; 66.75 lbs.

• Division 4, First Place, Female:  Helen Dreistadt; Jeannette, Pa.; 62 lbs.

• Division 4, First Place, Male:  Christopher Conte; Las Vegas, Nev.; 34.5 lbs.

• Division 4, Second Place, Female:  Dawn Bortnik; Naperville, Ill.; 59 lbs.

• Division 4, Second Place, Male:  Arthur Clemens; Nampa, Idaho.; 33.5 lbs.

• Division 5, First Place, Female:  Claudette Herzog; Scotia, N.Y.; 32 lbs.

• Division 5, First Place, Male:  Thomas Erdmann; South Haven, Mich.; 12 lbs.

• Division 6 (teens), First Place, Male:  Kenneth Jones; Pittsburg, Calif.; 53.5 lbs.

• Division 6 (teens), Second Place, Female:  Katlyn Wheeler; Felicity, Ohio; 55.25 lbs.

• Division 6 (teens), Second Place, Male:  Brandon McRae; Summerside, Prince Edward Island; 35 lbs.

• Division 7, First Place, Female:  Bev Jacobson; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; 115.25 lbs.

• Division 7, First Place, Male:  Randy Sidebottom; Southgate, Mich.; 158.25 lbs.

• Division 7, Second Place, Female:  Nicole Eickenroth; Pierson, Mich.; 109.5 lbs.

• Division 7, Second Place, Male:  Bill Landy; Glide, Ore.; 147.75 lbs.

• Division 8 (preteens), First Place, Female:  Candace Hamann; Belleville, Ill.; 32.5 lbs.

• Division 8 (preteens), First Place, Male:  Nick Hembree; Auburn, Wash.; 19 lbs.

• Division 8 (preteens), Second Place, Female: Grace Felicia; Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; 10.5 lbs.

• Division 9, First Place, Female:  Jennifer Wera; Lebanon, Ind.; 170.5 lbs.

• Division 9, Second Place, Female:  Andi Donnelly; Cleburne, Texas; 137.25 lbs.

• Division 9, Second Place, Male:  Charles Sutphin; Front Royal, Va.; 155.5 lbs.

State Royalty includes:

• Alabama Queen:  Ann Popwell; Marbury; 152 lbs.

• Alabama King:  Larry Wilson; Summerdale; 62 lbs.

• Alaska Queen:  Donna Beck; North Pole; 37.5 lbs.

• Arizona Queen:  Cecelia Cordelli; Sun City West; 109 lbs.

• Arizona King:  Rudy Jimenez; Cave Creek; 101.5 lbs.

• Arkansas Queen:  Shirley Frields; Marmaduke; 68 lbs.

• Arkansas King:  Howard Myers; Uniontown; 18.25 lbs.

• California Queen:  Terri Davidson; Bakersfield; 131 lbs.

• California King:  Dan Colby; Banning; 117 lbs.

• Colorado Queen:  Barbara Salls; Littleton; 80 lbs.

• Colorado King:  Robert Deschambault; Arvada; 53 lbs.

• Connecticut Queen:  Paula Shannon; Middletown; 77.25 lbs.

• Delaware Queen: Brenda Anthony; Seaford; 53 lbs.

• Florida Queen:  Cathy McCleese; Orange Park; 148 lbs.

• Florida King:  A.D. Blais; Daytona Beach; 87.75 lbs.

• Georgia Queen:  Dana Moore; Commerce; 120 lbs.

• Georgia King:  Charles Langford; Statham; 33 lbs.

• Idaho Queen:  Michelle Kerley; Jerome; 85.75 lbs.

• Idaho King:  Arthur Clemens; Nampa; 30.5 lbs.

• Illinois Queen:  Deb McCarthy; Wheaton; 144 lbs.

• Indiana Queen:  Patsy Embry; Evansville; 84 lbs.

• Indiana King:  Paul Singer; Westville; 81.5 lbs.

• Iowa Queen:  Lois Wilson; West Bend; 63 lbs.

• Iowa King:  Robert Gadbaw; Danville; 39 lbs.

• Kansas Queen:  Julie Brock; Hutchinson; 125 lbs.

• Kansas King:  Jerry Hardwick; Basehor; 64.25 lbs.

• Kentucky Queen:  M. Marie Cleary; Louisville; 127 lbs.

• Kentucky King:  Billy Durbin; Mayfield; 41.25 lbs.

• Louisiana Queen:  Juanita Bienvenu; Patterson; 129.75 lbs.

• Louisiana King:  Steve French; Haughton; 71.75 lbs.

• Maine Queen:  Carol Roberge; Saco; 187.75 lbs.

• Maine King:  Kevin Fortin; Van Buren; 40.25 lbs.

• Maryland King:  Brian Czechanski; Chesapeake Beach; 82 lbs.

• Massachusetts Queen:  Patricia Senior; Middleboro; 112 lbs.

• Massachusetts King:  Kevin Davieau; Rockland; 100 lbs.

• Michigan Queen:  Peggy Frankie; Plymouth; 144.5 lbs.

• Michigan King:  Mark Tackett; Dearborn Heights; 74.25 lbs.

• Minnesota Queen:  Diane Horneber; Minneapolis; 123 lbs.

• Minnesota King:  Larry Blalock; Maple Grove; 51 lbs.

• Mississippi Queen:  Rotha Nell Duke; Aberdeen; 52 lbs.

• Mississippi King:  Barron Price; Morton; 59 lbs.

• Missouri Queen:  Beverly Wilkerson; Crocker; 200 lbs.

• Missouri King:  Mike Vorhees; Kansas City; 98 lbs.

• Montana Queen:  Donna Ogg; Great Falls; 154.5 lbs.

• Nebraska Queen:  Penny Bendorf; Alma; 89.75 lbs.

• Nevada Queen:  Rebecca Fournier; Las Vegas; 85.75 lbs.

• Nevada King:  Rodney Harris; Covington, Wash.; 70 lbs.

• New Hampshire Queen:  Denise Meyette; Manchester; 112.75 lbs.

• New Hampshire King:  Raymond Brown; Boscawen; 15.5 lbs.

• New Jersey Queen:  Dorothy Goldy; Tabernacle; 134.5 lbs.

• New Jersey King:  Earl Phillips; Marlton; 61.75 lbs.

• New Mexico Queen:  Maudie Smart; Las Cruces; 58.75 lbs.

• New York Queen:  Elaine Gasner; Hagaman; 123 lbs.

• New York King:  Joseph Soukup; Brewerton; 73.25 lbs.

• North Carolina Queen:  Kathleen Shafer; Goldsboro; 53 lbs.

• North Dakota Queen:  Kelli Larson; West Fargo; 95.25 lbs.

• Ohio Queen:  Jan Vyhnalek; Seven Hills; 78.5 lbs.

• Ohio King:  Pete Martin; Lancaster; 89.5 lbs.

• Oklahoma Queen:  Bonnie Keller; Blanchard; 77 lbs.

• Oklahoma King:  Fred Allen; McAlester; 19 lbs.

• Oregon Queen:  Susan Augustine; Roseburg; 133 lbs.

• Oregon King:  Wesley Duffey; Oregon City; 44 lbs.

• Pennsylvania Queen:  A. Pauline Zimmerman; Narvon; 82 lbs.

• Rhode Island Queen:  Patricia Fuentes; Westerly; 94.5 lbs.

• South Carolina Queen:  Kathleen O’Brien; Aiken; 143.25 lbs.

• South Carolina King:  Dennis Fuller; Summerville; 25 lbs.

• South Dakota Queen:  Jessica Graff; Quinn; 64.25 lbs.

• Tennessee Queen:  Heather Gum; Readyville; 163.75 lbs.

• Tennessee King:  Gregory Scott Thomas; Spring City; 22.25 lbs.

• Texas Queen:  Rebecca Shover; Mesquite; 180.5 lbs.

• Texas King:  Christopher DeVicariis; San Antonio; 109 lbs.

• Utah Queen:  Paula Bradford; Malad City, Idaho; 82.75 lbs.

• Utah King:  John Krommenhoek; Orem; 85.5 lbs.

• Vermont Queen:  Wendy Bora; Lyndonville; 57.75 lbs.

• Virginia Queen:  Judith Fisher; Nellysford; 86 lbs.

• Virginia King:  Merrill Werner; Virginia Beach; 62.5 lbs.

• Washington Queen:  Juanita Pickett; Belfair; 124 lbs.

• Washington King:  Robert Bleau; Port Orchard; 115.5 lbs.

• West Virginia Queen:  Deborah Workman; Moundsville; 92.5 lbs.

• West Virginia King:  Jason Downing; Wheeling; 130.25 lbs.

• Wisconsin Queen:  Leona Steinmetz; Slinger; 101 lbs.

• Wisconsin King:  Daniel Van Dera; Appleton; 79.25 lbs.

• Wyoming Queen:  Velda Phillips; Casper; 75.25 lbs.

Provincial Royalty includes:

• Alberta Queen:  Marcy Hipwell; Claresholm; 103 lbs.

• Alberta King:  Pete Rickard; Pincher Creek; 66.75 lbs.

• British Columbia Queen:  Theresa Smith; Nanaimo; 87.25 lbs.

• British Columbia King:  Dennis Horgan; Campbell River; 47 lbs.

• Manitoba Queen:  Myrna Beals; Swan River; 144.25 lbs.

• Manitoba King:  Allen Koop; Blumenort; 59.5 lbs.  

• New Brunswick Queen:  Claudine LeBreton; Canton des Basques; 80.5 lbs.

• Newfoundland Queen:  Lillian Churchill; Pasadena; 60.5 lbs.

• Nova Scotia Queen:  Ann Myles; Kentville; 100 lbs.

• Nova Scotia King:  James Murphy; Aylesford; 137.25 lbs.

• Ontario Queen:  Vicki Calcutt; Strathroy; 151 lbs.

• Ontario King:  Robert Hartwick; Douro-Dummer; 69 lbs.

• Prince Edward Island Queen:  Bertha Tuplin; Summerside; 70.75 lbs.

• Prince Edward Island King:  Brandon McRae; Summerside; 28.25 lbs.

• Quebec Queen:  Wendy Vaux; Greenfield Park; 209.5 lbs.

• Quebec King:  Claude Renaud; Pointe-Claire; 52 lbs.

• Saskatchewan Queen:  Loretta Ham; Saskatoon; 142.5 lbs.

• Saskatchewan King:  Paul Wilson; Regina; 35 lbs.

• Yukon Territory Queen:  Madeline Boyd; Whitehorse; 39.5 lbs.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 65 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.®” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information. TOPS has about 150,000 members – male and female, age seven and older – in thousands of chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable at just $28 per year in the U.S. and $32 per year in Canada, plus nominal chapter fees. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.

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