The Jester & Pharley PhundTM

"It's up to us to make a difference. It's up to us to care."©

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Discover how much the Jester & Pharley have been up to helping children and families find their smiles in our latest 12-page newsletter.


Read the Lymphoma Research Foundation's "Profile of Hope" on The Jester's Mom


The Jester's Mom recalls David's meeting with
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak


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See coverage of our literacy program funded by USC's Good Neighbors Campaign

USC News
Annenberg Radio
Annenberg Television 

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'The Jester Has Given Me Hope for 22 Years'

“For the last 22 years, The Jester Has Lost His Jingle has given me strength and courage,” said Jesse Hernandez. Now 27, Jesse told his story to those gathered for The Jester's Taste of the South Bay Soiree. “For the last two decades that book has changed my life.”

“You read the book to me when I was 5 and in Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach,” he said to Barbara Saltzman, mother of the late author-artist David Saltzman. “Thank you for giving me hope then -- and now.” It was an emotional moment for Jesse and The Phund’s founder, who had read her late son’s book to Jesse shortly after its release in late October 1995 and hadn’t seen him since.

The Jester book she gave him has continued to help him smile, recalled Jesse’s mother, Joann Hernandez, who had been told her son wouldn’t live to 8.

Six-year-old Madison Radlein, now in remission after treatment for cancer, also shared her Jester story. “The Jester & Pharley always make me feel so happy and make me laugh,” Madison said with a big smile.


Welcome to home of The Jester & Pharley Phund, a charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and other serious illnesses with the inspiration of David Saltzman's award-winning The Jester Has Lost His Jingle.

This year, David's New York Times best-seller celebrates its 22nd anniversary of giving hope and humor to children nationwide. The Jester book and doll have been bringing smiles into the lives of thousands of children coping with serious illness. And our literacy programs make it possible for students to join The Jester's journey to help children in crisis.

David wrote and illustrated The Jester as his senior project at Yale University before his death from Hodgkin's disease in 1990. His desire was to give The Jester, with its upbeat and hopeful message, to children facing serious challenges. Today our promise to fulfill his wish remains our commitment.

When you give the joy of The Jester, you make a real difference in a child's life. And now the bilingual English/Spansh edition of El Bufon ha perdido su gracia makes it possible for Spanish speaking families to share the magical love of life and laughter in David's story.

In 2017, another 15,700 children will start their personal fight with cancer. By joining our Smiles for Kids With Cancer program, you can help us give The Jester book and doll to each of these youngsters.

While we wait for tomorrow's cures, The Jester & Pharley Phund gives children hope and laughter as they battle cancer and other serious illness today.

The Jester Doll has been carried into hundreds of hospitals to help children keep their jingle while going through medical procedures that might be scary. "I like to hold the doll when I get my spinal taps," 9 year-old Morgan O'Brien told us. "The doll and book make me feel better when I get chemo."

Our Literacy Programs inspired by The Jester Has Lost His Jingle, give students a unique and engaging way to help ill children while expanding their reading skills. Children and teachers join The Jester's Journey with a Read-A-Thon that earns Jester books and dolls for local hospitalized children.

Jester & Pharley Smile Carts make laughter a part of the healing process in hospitals, clinics and shelters. The Smile Cart activity center with audio-visual equipment includes Jester & Pharley books and dolls for patients.

Through these programs as well as special projects, more than 200,000 Jester books and dolls have been given to hospitals, shelters, underserved schools and other special-needs facilities. "The Jester came to us in our time of need and gave us hope when we needed it most," said one grateful mom.

The smallest donation will bring the biggest smile to many children.

CBS Sunday Morning
Mother's Day 2015 Segment

Follow Up Articles to
CBS Sunday
News Segment:

Daily Breeze, May 17, 2015
Peninsula News
, May 14, 2015

The Jester Joins
Barbara and Michael Saltzman
t the L.A. Times
Festival of Books
April 2015

See How The Jester Helps Kids Cope With Cancer

As part of our Smiles For Kids With Cancer Program, four-year-old Rena received The Jester Has Lost His Jingle
while being treated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has heard the story so many times that she now "reads"
it to her friends and family constantly. "It makes me feel so happy," Rena says with a big smile.

You can bring the same joy to children with cancer in your community with a donation today.

The Jester & Pharley Phund
™ P.O. Box 817 Palos Verdes, CA 90274
About Us | Awards | Tributes | Literacy Programs | Medical Programs | Smile Carts | Partners
Media | Date Book: News & Events | How to Help | To Order | Contact Us

The Jester & Pharley Phund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.
Proceeds benefit ill and special needs children and literacy. Federal EIN #95-4785834

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The Jester & Pharley Phund is a trademark of The Jester Co., Inc. Used under license by the Jester & Pharley Phund.  All rights reserved.