A well-known horseman in Sonoma County, Ron Malone was a trial lawyer specializing in multi-million dollar charitable trusts. A top-flight attorney heralded for his work in courtrooms for four-plus decades, his work as a prosecutor included senior trial attorney on Watergate Special prosecution force and later in private practice taking on big corporations like Wells Fargo and The Bank of New York. Later in his career, he shared he was grateful to be able to maintain a sense of public service, while working in the private sector.
Known by many as, “An attorney by day, and a cowboy forever,” Ron served as President of The William & Inez Mabie Family Foundation, a foundation that has a health care focus. In 2014, even while facing a series of concerning symptoms, Ron won the National Cutting Horse Association Superstakes Amateur Title and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association's Unlimited Amateur Derby. Soon after, he received the diagnosis of ALS.
During the four years that Ron Malone was living with the challenges of ALS, he and his wife, Sara, were extremely grateful for the care services offered by the Golden West Chapter, including access to multidisciplinary ALS care at a Chapter-supported Certified Center of Excellence. They developed a very close relationship with both the Chapter and Clinic staff, and learned a lot about living with ALS and the important role of family caregivers in facing the disease.
When Ron died in March of 2020, Sara generously arranged to donate their wheelchair accessible van to the Chapter so that another family could use the vehicle that had served them so well. Since both she and Ron had extensive careers working in various Wall Street and Fortune 500 businesses, as well as nonprofit trustee experience, Sara wanted to help ensure access to the kind of resources they received by creating a special fund, named in memory of her husband, Ronald Hayes Malone, dedicated to providing these services to others living with ALS.
Sara shared her ideas with Yeoryios Apallas, Ron’s best friend of nearly 40 years. The two men considered themselves to be brothers, and their families were also very close. Yeoryios was a fellow attorney, who served the California Department of Justice as a deputy attorney general and also worked on many high-profile cases, including oil company violations of the price control act. He also worked closely with his wife, Nancy, in building Soda Creek Vineyards, from farm land owned by her family for more than 75 years.
As the son of Greek immigrants, Yeoryios worked shining shoes when he was young. He once shared in an article for UC Davis that his shoe shine brush still holds a place of honor on his desk and is a sign that he will not forget his roots. "Each new generation has a responsibility to the previous generation to succeed, and to give back as much as it receives."
Yeoryios worked with Ron at The William & Inez Mabie Family Foundation, and assumed the position of President after Ron’s death. In 2020, Yeoryios decided to lend his support to Sara’s efforts. He and his wife Nancy connected with and met with leadership at the Golden West Chapter. As a result, the William & Inez Mabie Family Foundation made a multi-year gift commitment of $500,000 to the Golden West Chapter to establish the Ron Malone Care Services Fund. benefiting the ALS community in the Bay Area.
The Golden West Chapter publicly recognized this special support for the Ron Malone Care Services Fund, with celebration and deep gratitude, at the closing ceremonies of the 2022 Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS.
“It has been a great privilege to be a friend of Ronald Malone, with whom I had a personal and professional relationship,” shared Yeoryios. “Ron was a great human being who taught me many things, including that there are great unmet needs that need to be fulfilled, among them (treatments and cures for the) disease that he was afflicted with. When he left, I promised him that I would help make a difference.” Yeoryios then announced he would provide an additional $115,000 grant in support of the Ron Malone Care Services Fund.
We are extremely grateful to Sara and Yeoryios for their efforts with the Ron Malone Care Services Fund. Together, they have contributed crucial support to ensure that we can continue to provide access to essential services and novel approaches to addressing the needs of people diagnosed with ALS and family caregivers.
In recent years, donors with a deep recognition of the significant issues facing family caregivers have reached out to lend critical support for Golden West Chapter programs designed to help people live longer and better with ALS, and to benefit family caregivers too. From professional care management, to support groups, as well as adaptive equipment loans, respite grants, family camp experiences, and educational webinars, every family caregiver is a Golden West Chapter client too.
If you are interested in learning more about Chapter programs that support family caregivers or establishing a named tribute fund, please contact Cherryl Goldstein, Vice President of Development.