ToneOne of the Founding Board members and early leaders of Children’s Place Association, Robert Tone Bale, passed away July 23rd at age 83.  

During the height of the AIDS epidemic – the late 1980s – Tone Bale joined with a group of compassionate Chicagoans to start a nonprofit organization to help kids affected by the illness. At a time when no effective HIV medications were available, children often languished in hospitals with limited support.  

Tone became Chair of the Board, and, under his leadership, Children’s Place Association developed the Midwest’s first HIV/AIDS residence for children, which opened in 1991. Over the years, Children’s Place helped hundreds of children living with or orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Tone also supported the organization’s expanding community-based programs targeting vulnerable children and families, including early childhood education, family housing, and foster/adoptive care.   

Founding CEO Cathy Krieger (now retired) recalls Tone Bale’s leadership skills and passion for the children served by Children’s Place. “Tone Bale was my first Board Chair, the one who hired me and helped me learn how to be a CEO of a nonprofit organization,” Cathy said. “He was a seasoned executive, a nursing home administrator, with a depth of experience he brought to Children’s Place. He was a great talent scout and recruited several key board members. But most of all, Tone was passionate about the mission, ensuring our focus was always on the kids.” 

Robert Tone Bale served on the Children’s Place Association Board of Directors for a total of 18 years: 1989-1999 and 2013-2021. Thank you, Tone, for your volunteerism and leadership.