Southern Star creates nonprofit

Dec. 7—Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline has created a nonprofit organization with plans to provide grants to local groups beginning in late 2023 or early 2024.

Southern Star president and CEO Shawn Patterson said Southern Star Cares will use funds generated through employee donations to benefit local nonprofits.

The idea for Southern Star Cares has been in discussion for some a while among employees, Patterson said.

"It really originated from them," he said Tuesday. "Our team loves to give back to the community. We felt now was the time."

The Owensboro headquarters set a fundraising goal of $80,000 for this year, which the company's 220 local employees exceeded.

"Our employees in Owensboro donated over $100,000," Patterson said. "It goes to say a lot (about) our employees wanting to give back to where they live."

"We can't commend our team enough for the inaugural fundraiser," said Karen Goedde, Southern Star director of communications and public relations. "We are so proud of them."

Southern Star Cares plans to begin taking applications from local nonprofit groups around spring of next year. The organization will be led and managed by Southern Star employees.

"We are going to let the employees work out the process" for how the grants will be awarded, Patterson said, and when awarding grants, the organization will consider factors such the impact of the grant on the recipient.

All future donations will come from fundraising among Southern Star workers. A press release said 100% of its donations will go to local nonprofit groups.

Patterson said the plan is for the Owensboro Southern Star Cares to award grants annually.

Eventually, the concept will be opened up to other Southern Star offices, Patterson said.

"We want to model it here, learn from it, and incorporate it elsewhere," he said.