Anza TOPS declared Aug. 17 ‘Marilyn’s Day,’ Open House to be held Sept. 15

Marilyn Smith passed the leadership baton to Deanna Bello Aug. 3. She and Deanna are seen in “top form” riding high over the Hamilton High gym in the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon at the 2016 Anza Electric Co-op’s 65th Anniversary event. Ivy Porter photo
Marilyn Smith passed the leadership baton to Deanna Bello Aug. 3. She and Deanna are seen in “top form” riding high over the Hamilton High gym in the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon at the 2016 Anza Electric Co-op’s 65th Anniversary event. Ivy Porter photo

Jackie Hill

Special to Anza Valley Outlook

Anza TOPS otherwise known as “Taking Off Pounds Sensibly” Chapter 1860 celebrated Aug. 17, as “Marilyn’s Day.”

“Forget the Marilyn of Hollywood fame. Our Marilyn is one of us, a local girl, a much brighter star in our opinion,” said a fellow TOPS member.

This is how the group feels about Marilyn Smith who has been the TOP’s President for the past 10 years.

Marilyn Smith joined TOPS in 2006 soon after losing her husband. She admits her main reason to join was to make new friends not just to lose those last pesky 20 pounds. A commonly hard weight lost for many after having children and just in the living of life.

The chapter had started in Anza back in 1981 and when Marilyn assumed the role of fearless leader, TOPS was a jolly band of four women, meeting at Anza Pines Mobile Home Park’s community building. Marilyn shared that one of her proudest achievements in the 10 years is that she guided the local chapter was seeing membership grow from 4 to 42 members consisting of both men and women.

Marilyn’s mentorship will never be forgotten. She has led by inspiring others with her kind, nurturing and caring ways. Her efforts have truly made the difference in many members’ lives.

“Thank you, Marilyn, for a job well done. Your Anza Chapter friends salute you,” is the sentiment the group wants to convey.

She is retiring her office into good hands. Deana Bello’s was elected to take her office, Aug. 3, officially becoming the new President of the Anza Chapter.

What is TOPS About?

TOPS is an International support group that stands for “Taking Off Pounds Sensibly”.

In TOP’s you can be crowned Kings and Queens at special Recognition Ceremonies. This honor is given to certain men, “Kings,” and women, “Queens,” for losing the most weight and meeting the goal criteria to be crowned.

KOPS are all TOPS member who have reached their weigh goal. They continue to come to meetings and encourage those who are still working to meet their goals. KOPS stands for “Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly”,

Tena Canchola a long time member of the Anza Chapter is an accomplished KOPS and has also been crown Queen. She is currently the Anza Chapter’s Weight Recorder. She is always kind and encouraging. Tena shares the honor of being crowned ‘Queen” with another “KOPS” member Diana Thiele.

These inspiring women show the possibility of losing and keeping the weight off. As Marilyn describes it, “It’s not a competition or a race, TOPS becomes a second family. It’s a safe and shame-free zone of peer support, encouraging each Chapter member to reach for ‘your goal’.”

Marilyn, herself, is within a few pounds of achieving “KOPS” status. “It hasn’t been all hard work,” Marilyn says. There is fun to be had by TOPS members. TOPS International sponsors yearly cruises to the Caribbean. The many ‘Recognition Events’ members can attend are held in some of the most exciting cities across the U.S. Interesting and educational workshops are available locally as well. An upcoming workshop will be held locally in Ontario, carpooling is encouraged, on September 24th.

All are welcome at Anza TOPS Open House, to be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, it will start at 8:30 a.m. Meetings are held in Thompson Hall at the First Southern Baptist Church located at 39200 Foothill Road in Anza same time each on Wednesdays.

Lynne Johnson is the Chapter’s point of contact for new members and information. She can be reached at (951) 392-1389.

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