A tearful Marilyn Babcock, left, is presented with the Charles Bugg Award by Colorne Legion Br. 187 President Patti May at the annual Honours and Awards ceremony held May 15.

There was a spontaneous standing ovation for Marilyn Babcock when she was announced as the Legionnaire of the Year at Colborne Legion Br. 187 Sunday afternoon, May 15.

There were some tears, too — but happy ones.

Marilyn Babcock has been the organizing force behind the twice-monthly dinners held at the branch. They’ve proven a financial lifesaver for the small but mighty branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. For days ahead of time, she arrives at the Legion kitchen to begin preparations, often assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers to ease the mixing, mashing, baking and preparation. “Cooky”, as she’s become known, is always on hand to help out with events and special needs, too. Her home-cooked menus have proven very popular with the public and she’s always up for new suggestions.

The Colborne Legion was founded on March 5, 1931. There were originally 16 members, among them Charles Rutherford, V.C., for whom Branch 187 is named. At the inaugural meeting, Charles Bugg was elected president. He held office until 1937.

The Charles Bugg Award was created in memory of the Charter President. The award is presented annually to a Life, Associate or Affiliate member of Branch 187 to recognize outstanding service contributed in the current year. The award winner is kept top secret until the Honours and Awards event each year. This year, President Patti May named Marilyn Babcock as the winner.

The first year, in 1988, the award went to Harry and Merna Rowe, Garnet Summers and Jim Mills. Since then, the recipients have included Ira Wile, Ray and Marilyn Babcock, Joe Nelson, Ruth Kripp, Marj Barlow, George Chandler, Cathy Holdam, Tracey Loveless, John Fox and Paul Coleman.

A tearful Marilyn Babcock, left, is presented with the Charles Bugg Award by Colorne Legion Br. 187 President Patti May at the annual Honours and Awards ceremony held May 15.