The Sudan Cooligans parade unit was formed in 2008. Charter member Ill. Sir Monte Starr (Past Potentate of Al Malaikah Shriners) had seen a motorized cooler in a California Shriners event. He and eight other nobles researched the idea, and formed the new parade unit. On May 17, 2008, the Sudan Cooligans received their Charter from Director Buddy Shaw. Ill. Sir Bobby Waller was the potentate that year. The first unit meeting was held at Monte Starr's home.
The Cooligans unit has grown over the past nine years, and is now comprised of a capacity of 22 members. The coolers are battery powered, and have been customized with a chopper style front end. The parade uniform consists of brightly colored Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts or pants, and a straw or beach type hat. Members decorate their coolers for themed parades, and change out head wear according to the parade that the unit is participating in.
The Cooligans have proven to be a very popular in all parades they participate in. In fact, the first official parade for the unit was SASA at Pigeon Forge in 2008. The unit took 1st place in their division, and were told that this accomplishment was a first in 32 years. Since then the unit has won 1st or 2nd place at SASA almost every year. The unit participates in numerous civic and community parades every year.
In 2009, while Grady Dixon was the Big Kahuna, the unit acquired a room on the second floor at the temple. The members pitched in and created a Hawaiian themed room where meetings are held every month. The room is always a popular stop during the Winter Ceremonial.
The Cooligans have been very active within other areas of Shrinedom as members of their local shrine clubs holding various positions in their clubs. Members are very active in the annual fish fry, and helping raise awareness and raise money to support our Shriners Hospitals for Children. Since the unit was chartered, they have donated approximately $33,000 to the hospital, building and/or the transportation funds.
(left to right – back row): Tim Ludwig, Mike Hurm, Monte Starr (Big Kahuna), Grady Dixon (Lil Kahuna), Bill Joiner. Seated left: Fred Bender (Secretary), Seated right: Mike Harris. Members not pictured: Marston Crawford and Ed Dixon