Date Book: News & Events

'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.
“It’s always a pleasure to give Jester books and dolls to our patients, as they benefit so much from its optimism and joy,” said Dr. Julie Noble, retiring coordinator of Harbor-UCLA’s community advocacy program. Soiree and tennis tournament proceeds will provide Jester books and dolls to young cancer patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Those attending the soiree kicking off the 5th Annual Jester Benefit Doubles Tennis Tournament at Alta Vista Park in Redondo Beach couldn’t have felt happier to see how their support continues to boost the morale of children with cancer.

Guests enjoyed music by guitarist Mark Fitchett and small plates donated by popular South Bay emporiums, including The Original Red Onion, Roman Aroma Cafe, Kincaids, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Peet’s Coffee & Tea of Redondo Beach and Starbucks of Del Amo Village. 

The rousing round-robin doubles tennis tournament brought together South Bay players of all ages. “It was a pleasure to support this community event that does so much good,” said Richard Gridley, marketing manager of Big 5 Sporting Goods, a gold sponsor of the event.

At 92, John Mandich was the oldest competitor. And a mother (Lou Stokes) and son (Brandon Stokes) competing in different divisions each took home trophies supplied by Premier Bank of Palos Verdes.

Aime Claire Lager and Brandon Stokes slammed to a first-place victory in Division A. Janice Bittker and Michael Lopez took second place. Taking first place in Division B/C were Addie Soltani and Lanana Goldstein. Lou Stokes took second place in Division B/C with partner Rebecca Clites.

2017 A Taste of the South Bay Soiree Photos
2017 Tennis Tournament Day of Photos
2016 Tennis Tournament Day of Photos
2015 Tennis Tournament Day of Photos
2015 Donation to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Jester Tennis Tournament Gives Jester Books, Dolls to Harbor-UCLA

October 2016 - Smiles were the order of the day at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center when The Jester & Pharley Phund donated 150 copies of the bilingual edition of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle and 150 Jester & Pharley dolls to young patients.

The donation resulted from proceeds of the recent Fourth Annual Jester Benefit Doubles Tennis Tournament, with event chair Heidi Grimm handing out the books and dolls to happy children in attendance. Phund president Barbara Saltzman read the book to the children who giggled and chuckled with The Jester & Pharely as they searched for laughter in the story.

"Our patients just love The Jester story and The Jester & Pharley Doll." said Melissa Hebron-Abo, Director of Child Life Services at Harbor-UCLA. Added Dr. Julie Noble, Coordinator of Harbor-UCLA's Community Advocacy program, "It's always a pleasure to give Jester books and dolls to our patients, as they benefit so much from its optimism and joy."
<<Read More>>

Miles of Smiles Roll into Orthopaedic Institute for Children

March 2016 - Giggles, laughs and smiles filled a waitng room at Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, as a colorful Jester & Pharley Smile Cart delivered Jester books and dolls into the hands of young patients.

Packed with The Jester Has Lost His Jingle books, dolls and media equipment, the Smile Cart is a generous family donation in memory of Deirdre Montgomerie, a longtime South Bay librarian.

To celebrate their gift, the Montgomerie family and friends gathered in the Orthopaedic Institute’s clinic waiting room surrounded by young patients in casts and braces and their parents. Barbara Saltzman, the mother of Jester author David Saltzman, joyfully read his whimsical story to the crowd.

Barbara turned the pages, the magic of the story took hold and the OIC children were soon laughing and hugging The Jester & PharleyDolls and books given to them during the dedication. The donation marks the 49th Jester & Pharley Smile Cart cheering up children across the country.

“The joy from this Jester & Pharley Smile Cart is going to be given over and over to our children,” said Mary Beth Perrine, Senior Director of Community Outreach. “Every book, every doll will be well loved.”

Volunteers will roll the Smile Cart into clinic and urgent care waiting rooms, where they will read the Jester story about the importance of never giving up and give the Jester books and dolls to patients. The carts also carry audio-visual equipment so that children can watch DVDs to help pass the time. The Montgomerie family gift includes 150 Jester books, 150 dolls and 150 bookmarks, plus Jester & Pharley PhunBooks filled with creative activities.

“When a child and their parents come to the urgent care center, it’s not their best day. Kids are in pain, their parents are stressed,” explained Danielle Barrios, Assistant Director of Volunteer Services. “The Smile Cart will help lessen their anxiety. Instead of thinking about the pain, they will have a sense of comfort.”

OIC has worked in partnership with The Jester & Pharley Phund and the USC Good Neighbors Campaign in a community-wide effort that has brought hundreds of award-winning Jester Has Lost His Jingle books to pediatric patients. USC supports Jester Read-a-Thons at local elementary schools, where student reading generates the donation of Jester books and dolls to Orthopaedic Institute for Children.

“Hundreds of children will now have reason to break into smiles,” Barbara Saltzman said with gratitude to the Montgomerie family.

Return to Smile Cart

Bringing a Jester Jingle to Pediatric Therapy Network

February 2016 - Author-artist David Saltzman’s Chadwick classmates found the perfect way to remember him for their 30th reunion. They raised funds to donate 300 copies of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle to the Pediatric Therapy Network in Torrance, CA.
Children attending a special PTN Buddy Club gathering giggled and giggled as The Jester’s Mom read her son’s fun-filled story about laughter to them. Then Barbara Saltzman handed each one their own copy of David’s book. Their smiles got bigger and bigger as they clutched their new treasure.
“This wonderful book about laughter has such a positive impact on children coping with challenges,” said Terri Chew Nishimura, chief executive officer. “We are grateful to David’s classmates for thinking of the many children we help.” The Jester & Pharley were right at home at the therapy center provides services for children with special needs and those at risk for developmental issues.

Front row, Abbie Gregory, PTN Buddy Club; Terri Nishimura, PTN CEO; Barbara Saltzman, The Jester's Mom; Tanesha Sandoz, PTN Leaps and Bounds. Back row, Jasmin Arredondo, PTN Leaps and Bounds; Alice Castellanos, PTN Early Head Start


Jester Home Page
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