First Independent Bank officers recently presented scholarship funds to three well-deserving local students. The John J. Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2010 in honor of the man whose name it bears.

This year’s recipients were Tori LaSalle of Marionville, Benjamin Stults of Verona and Faithlynn Jung of Aurora.

John J. Lee was a graduate of Verona High School and was known for his support of area schools and communities. Lee served as president of First Independent Bank from its opening in Aurora in 1994 until his death in 2009. He was a true community banker, always eager to donate time and money to school programs, youth activities and community causes.

Employees of FIB, wishing to honor his generosity and community spirit, established the John J. Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund. Funding for the scholarships comes from employees’ fund-raising efforts, including an annual bake sale and employee donations for casual Fridays.

Since the first scholarship was granted in 2010, First Independent Bank employees have raised more than $25,000 to fund scholarships for Marionville, Verona and Aurora graduates. All graduating seniors are eligible to apply, and the winner is chosen by a committee of bank personnel, school counselors and a representative of the Lee family.