Families Helping Families: Leonard B. and H. Kathleen Wade
"Don't make me start bragging about my granddaughter," Clifford Wade says with a laugh. "I could go on all day."
In addition to being "tickled" about how sweet and helpful 13-year-old RayAnn Borjas is, Clifford admits she's the inspiration behind the very generous gift his aunt and uncle recently made to Children's Mercy. The physical therapy/ occupational clinic at Children's Mercy Northland will be named for Leonard and Kathleen Wade in grateful recognition.
Leonard and Kathleen, who died within seven months of each other in 2012, designated Children's Mercy as the recipient of a large portion of their trusts.
"When we sat down to decide how the funds would be distributed, I got to talking about how Children's Mercy provided such excellent care when RayAnn was born a preemie at just 25 weeks," Clifford says. "They thought it was a good idea."
Leonard and Kathleen were children of the Depression and married late in life. They didn't have any children of their own and lived modestly. He was a foreman for TWA and she worked as a secretary for Graybar Electric.
"They were simple country people just like the rest of our family," Clifford says. "Family is everything to us.
I think their donation to Children's Mercy means so much because it will carry that value into the future and help parents and children who need assistance."
Clifford says Kathleen was a Southern belle and Leonard was more of a Kansas farm boy. Her involvement in various clubs and organizations influenced Leonard to join her, and they were well-known in their community.
"They were a case of opposites attract, I suppose," Clifford says.
He explains that few people would have believed such an unassuming couple had accumulated such wealth.
"They didn't waste anything and didn't put a lot of stock in material things," he says.
"We take our family name very seriously, though, and our word is our bond," Clifford says with a more serious tone. "It definitely makes me proud to know our name is attached to such a meaningful gesture that will help other children who need Children's Mercy … like RayAnn did when she was born."