Wayne Godsey recalls the neighborhood welcome mat that was put out when he and wife Anne moved to Leawood from St. Louis in the late 1990s.
“I was here for a couple of months before Anne and the kids joined me,” says Wayne, former president and general manager of KMBC television. “The week that moving van arrived and the family came, every single woman on the block knocked on our front door with a bottle of wine or a plate of cookies.”
That ‘howdy neighbor’ attitude began the Godseys’ love affair with Johnson County.
“We’ve moved a fair amount during my career, and it was the first time anything like that happened,” says Wayne. “The friendliness of the people made it easy to like this place.”
The couple has forged deep civic and charitable connections in the community since relocating more than a dozen years ago. Wayne’s high-profile job allowed him to help make an impact through Larry Moore’s Dream Factory, Harvesters and a nonprofit citizen’s organization that he currently chairs: the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission. The umbrella for four vital programs that individually and collectively help make the entire area safer, the Crime Commission includes Crime Stoppers that features a TIPS Hotline and pays rewards. On Sept. 30, 2011, the program that takes anonymous tips achieved its 10,000th felony arrest in its history.
“KMBC has partnered with Crime Stoppers since its inception, and with great success,” says Wayne. “It functions across state lines.”
The Godseys have three children, including a daughter in Denver; a daughter who lived in Phoenix and moved back to KC; and a son at the University of Kansas who is a December 2012 candidate for JD and MBA degrees. The couple is involved in myriad Catholic causes: Wayne is a past chair of the advisory board of the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at KU and is an active member of the Order of Malta, a Catholic Lay organization that works with the impoverished. Anne has worked with Catholic Charities and was on its community services board several years ago. They belong to Church of the Nativity where they regularly offer their time, talent and treasure.
The couple now splits time between Johnson County and Bonita Springs, Fla. But their connections run deep in a place that captured their hearts through the actions of others.
“National statistics prove that the Kansas City area is one of the most generous in the country,” says Anne. “We’re so proud to call this city home.”