Independence Bank wrapped up the holiday season last week by presenting $11,000 to local charities in Webster and McLean counties on Dec. 30 at a reception held at the Providence location. The funds were part of the Bank's annual "Buzz" program that seeks to empower employees to give back to their communities. The buzz program is just one way that Independence Bank is able to give back to the markets it serves and allows its employees the autonomy to identify the biggest needs in their community.

The following organizations benefited from the funds:

• CASA of Midwest Kentucky -- $1,000

• Children's Advocacy Center -- $1,000

• Habitat for Humanity Webster County -- $1,000

• McLean County Baseball Park -- $1,000

see charities/page A2

• Providence Food Bank -- $2,000

• Webster County Caring for Neighbors Backpack Program -- $5,000

"The organizations we chose are all instrumental in ensuring that our neighbors and friends in Webster and McLean counties are cared for in various ways, from meeting basic needs to enriching the children in our community's lives," said Belinda Wright, Independence Bank President. "And our employees are actively involved with each of these organizations, serving on a board, volunteering or advocating for each of the groups, so they are near and dear to our hearts."

Along with these funds, Independence Bank employees have donated countless hours to each of these organizations.

"Most of our employees are raising families or have members of their family here in the communities we serve, so it's important for us to always support the people and the places in which our foundation was built upon," said Ellie Stewart, Customer Service Representative. "We may not always be able to make a monetary donation to every organization, but you can often find an Independence Bank employee at all types of events willing to lend a helping hand. It is important for us to be present and show our support of our community."

"It is important to us that the community knows that they can rely on Independence Bank for more than their banking needs," Wright stated. "We want them to see Independence Bank as a partner in elevating the quality of life for all individuals in our community. That's what we do as a community-driven bank.

Last year, the Bank invested more than $1.6 million back into the communities it serves across the Commonwealth. Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 25 locations in 12 counties in Kentucky.