MARION Gilliland is to be this year’s Chieftain for Cumnock Highland Games.

William Salmond, chairman of the Highland Games Organising Committee and past Chieftain himself, went along to Marion’s shop on Townhead Street to present her with her Cumnock tartan shawl.

This year’s Cumnock Highland Games will be held on Sunday, August 19, in the town’s Woodroad Park. The new location is necessary because its usual venue, Broomfield Park, is now part of the building works currently being carried out on the new school campus between Cumnock and Auchinleck.

Marion, 45, who has worked in the family business on Townhead Street since she left school, was delighted to be asked to be this year’s Chieftain.

She said: “This is such an honour and I am looking forward to it. Unfortunately even as Chieftain I can’t control the weather but I am sure that the event will be a great success and that everyone will have a great time.”

Marion is chairwoman of Cumnock Business Association and has also spent the last twenty years liaising on behalf of the local business community with East Ayrshire Council.

She is also a tireless fundraiser for MND Scotland, having completed the Glasgow Half Marathon as part of her fundraising efforts for the charity. In addition she will gift wrap any purchase in her shop at no cost to the customer for a voluntary donation to MND Scotland. In the past three and a half years Marion has raised over £15,000 for the charity.

William added: “In Marion we have a very worthy Chieftain and it is a real pleasure for me to present her with this shawl in the Cumnock tartan, which all of the previous Chieftains have received. She will also receive a walking stick, custom-made by well known craftsman Dane Love, for the event and as a memento to keep.”

Cumnock Highland Games will begin with a parade from Cumnock Square at 12.30pm and on arrival at Woodroad Park at 1pm the event will be officially opened by Marion.

The Highland Dancing competition will begin in Woodroad Park at 10am.