If you are fortunate enough to have any old magazines, you will note that the issue of the July 1959 tops news reports the formations of three chapters in south florida - the Slimmin Wimmin of West Hollywood, the Palm Beach TOPS, and the worthy TOPS.  Later to be known as the Ounce Bouncers, the Palm Beach TOPS were chartered on May 28 1959

Our very first leader was Bonnie Harper, who served TOPS faithfully for many years, helping to set up chapters in the area, such as Lantana and Riviera Beach.  She also served as our first county captain, a position TOPS no longer has.  We would also be remiss without mentioning Fran Adams, who was one of our first area coordinators and was a wonderful, remarkably hardworking tops field staffer.

1959 was an interesting year - we all still liked Ike, our kids were being taught how to turn their houses into makeshift bomb shelters (thanks to the cold war), two new states came into the union and Tv was still in its infancy.  There were no such things as satellite dishes or cable TV.  Heck, it was all we could do to launch a rocket from the Cape without its exploding.

Our national dues back then were all of $6.00 a year.  Instead of a chapter number, each chapter could choose its own name.  Some of the more popular ones were Ounce Bouncers, Slimmin Wimmin, Morning Glories, C-u liter, Fat b Gone, and yes-believe it or not-Weight Watchers.

Our officers were elected in December.  Their terms ran from January to December rather than their current months.

There was also a minimum amount of weight you had to lose before you could join - 10 pounds.  This is something that is no longer required.  You are currently welcome to join even if you would like to maintain your current weight.  This is something good for younger people-they can watch their weight before they start putting the pounds on.

Everyone who lost at least 25 pounds received a star from National. Special awards at our chapter were made by gluing pieces of cigarrette packages together - a far cry from the charms, bracelets, and pins that we have today.

The old tops news showed members birthdays, anniversaries and deaths - something which is no longer feasible today.  And in some of them, they listed members names, and said if they saw their name, they would receive a prize.  These old magazines are really something to look at - the prize of our collection is one from 1957 - which is 2 years before we came into being!

KOPS leeways were also different: they were 3 pounds over and 3 pounds under.  This is not a lot to play around with, but on the other hand, at this time, you did not have to be at goal to be royalty.

Our local chapter has appeared on television and has had a State Queen, Pauline Stiffler.  We also hosted the first SRD in Florida at the old George Washington hotel in West Palm Beach

In 1958 South Florida was privileged to have an International Recognition Days.  It was down in Miami Beach at the Deauville hotel.  Registration for all 3 days was $5.00.  You got a nice hotel room for $9.50 a day (throw in $3.50 a day more and your meals were included!).  A luncheon and luau were featured, along with a bathing beauty parade (yes-members did march across stage in swimsuits-and yes, we have pictures of that!)  The theme was Moon over Miami.

In 2009, we were priviledged to attend IRD in Florida again - this time at the Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando.  It was a wonderful event where we met the INternational King and Queen - and everyone enjoyed the event at the Mouse House.

Times change and as tops national went on computers, OUnce Bouncers became TOPS#FL 10, west Palm Beach.  We have met in many different places through the years, going from the YWCA, to the Catholic Daughter's hall, to Macarthur's dairy, to Verde's bowling alley, to Phipps park clubhouse, to Riverbridge shopping center, to several churchs,and more than a few members homes.

In  2003 our chapter went on computer, thanks to a local newspaper.  Nowadays we have 2 websites and a facebook page.

Through the years we have had chapter queens, division winners,, state division winners, state queen and KOPS galore.  Recently, we had our first Century Club winner, Lynda Alvarez  Finally after all these years, we also fulfilled a pledge and  won the award for having the best weight loss in the state of florida (2009).  In 2010, we still managed to win another award- for coming in 4th out of 200 plus chapters.  In 2012, we had another State Division Winbara Knapfel

We have hosted fall rallies, area and state recognition days.  One of the more unusual area days we had was at the local jai alai fronton.  Our last SRD was at the old collonades hotel in Singer island.  Our theme that year was Hawaii in florida.  We still have our red hostess vests and blue print hawaiian dress from that event, as well as leftover charms and songbooks, cerca 1975.  This was an unusual place to have an event because the old man who owned the hotel was very fond of wildlife.  He had a beachside garden where he fed seagulls and kept wild mallards.  He allowed the birds to wander through the hotel at will and it was quite a sight to see the tops members and the ducks!

We recently received an award from National for our 50th anniversary. and like we stated before, we are proud to be one of the oldest chapters in Florida.  We take time to sit back to reflect on our successes and adapt with new programs, new rules, and new ideas to reflect our ever changing organization.  But when all is said and done, we remain true to the basic values and beliefs Esther Manz started so long ago.

We are well and truly here for you.





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