The Audubon All-Girl Drum and Bugle Corps, known universally as the Bon-Bons, formed in 1938, was an all-girl marching and maneuvering and parade corps based in Audubon, New Jersey. They were sponsored by Oaklyn-Audubon-Bettlewood VFW Post 4463. The corps’ colors were blue and white.
In early years, because there existed so few all-girl corps, the Bon-Bons had to compete, if they wished to compete at all, with all-male groups. They were the only female group to compete successfully in this venue, placing second or third in VFW Nationals several times. In 1957 they took high drums and GE at the American Legion Nationals, before placing second to the Holy Name Cadets. In 1960, their bugles defeated those of every other corps competiting in the American Legion Nationals in Miami.
The corps’ director, Mr. Joseph Bernert, Sr., known to all as "J.B.," instructed some 3000 girls through the years. He originated the signature phrase “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”
That title was not entirely accurate, however, as the Bon-Bons were the 1969 and 1970 VFW All-Girl National Champions, among other awards. They participated in the Dream Contests of 1957-64 and in a Carnegie Hall concert with other corps in 1962. The corps was also selected for induction into the Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1967. They appeared in Eastern States Circuit competition in 1977.
The Bon-Bons merged with three other corps in 1978, but the Bon-Bon Alumni Chorus continues to entertain into the 21st century.
[Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966; rec.arts.marching,drumcorps; Competitive Drum Corps, Popp, 1979; DCW, 6/29/93, p.9, 19]