Local woman first on Island to receive 50 years TOPS award recognition

Kim Mayer, co-leader of the Gore Bay Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) group, right, presents the Doreen Warwick Award to Vickie Grigg, in recognition of the latter’s being a member of TOPS for 50 years.

GORE BAY – A member of the Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) Gore Bay group is probably the first person on Manitoulin Island to ever receive recognition as being a member of TOPS for 50 years, as well as receiving the Doreen Warwick Award.

Kim Mayer, co-leader of the Gore Bay TOPS group, announced at a meeting last week, “I would like to welcome all TOPS members here tonight. We have a very, very special evening.”

“We have a very special presentation to make—the Doreen Warwick Award to Vickie Grigg,” said Ms. Mayer. “Doreen Warwick was a TOPS regional director in Ontario for a number of years. She was a beautiful lady and when she passed a few years ago her field staff wanted to honour her memory. She was a co-founder of TOPS. This award is presented to members who have been in TOPS for 50 years.”

The Doreen Warwick Award certificate was presented to Vickie Grigg in recognition of TOPS longevity and determination.  Another certificate sent by Rick Danforth, president of TOPS Club, Inc. reads, “congratulations Vickie Grigg on being an essential part of our TOPS family for 50 years. Your enduring help and support of fellow TOPS and KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) through these past five decades exemplifies the caring support that is the keystone of our organization. With members like you, TOPS will continue to provide a haven of understanding that reaches out to help all who join, take and keep off pounds sensibly.”

Ms. Mayer, who used to be a member of the TOPS club in Capreol, told the Recorder, “we have never had anyone in our group that has been a (TOPS) member for 50 years. There was one presented in Lively, but this is the first of this award ever given out on Manitoulin Island.”

Ms. Grigg, who has a cottage in Spring Bay and will spend the winter with her daughter Barbara in Mindemoya, told the Recorder, “I was in the TOPS group in Lively for a number of years having started on February 9, 1969 in Lively. They are still going and are a very vibrant, large group. Evelyn Cole and myself were the charter members of the club and she was presented with her TOPS 50 year award previously. Another woman had actually started the group in Lively, out of her home.”

“TOPS is ‘take off pounds sensibly’,” Ms. Grigg told the Recorder. “It is all about getting together, weighing in at meetings and encouraging each other. It’s fellowship and camaraderie.”

Ms. Grigg explained TOPS members are provided a set weight level you should try to attain, recommended by a doctor. “Yes, I have about five more pounds to lose; my weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo over the years.”
“I was raised in Sudbury and when I got married my husband and I moved to Lively. We lived there 37 years,” said Ms. Grigg. 

“It’s been great being a member of TOPS,” said Ms. Grigg.

Ms. Mayer pointed out the Gore Bay TOPS group is open to all new members, and those interested can contact the group on their website or by calling her at 282-0563.