The idea of meeting with other dieters for mutual encouragement occurred to Esther S. Manz
awaited the arrival of her
While participating in group sessions designed to prepare women for childbirth, she
witnessed the power of mutual support in helping the women stay within their doctors' guidelines for pregnancy.
discussed the idea with her
personal physician who encouraged her
to carry it out.
was born around a kitchen table (wouldn't you know it!) in 1948 when Mrs. Manz
and two friends gathered with others at the "Beulah Brinton Recreation Center" in Milwaukee.
Their desire was to support each other to thinner figures and better health.
After the Milwaukee Journal
published an article about the new group, Esther
recalled, "So many people showed up that we could hardly get through the crowd to our meeting room!"
From the very beginning, TOPS
decided that anyone who succeeded in losing a lot of weight deserved royal treatment.
Within a year, TOPS
crowned its first queen.
Queens have been crowned in every year since then-and kings, too-since 1957.
By the end of TOPS' second year, Esther Manz
was riding the bus to TOPS chapters all over town, carrying the TOPS scale and records in a shopping bag.
Esther S. Manz
had long dreamed of a research program to help find causes and remedies for the problems of overweight.
In 1991, Esther S. Manz retired as president after 43 years of dedicated service.