Since its creation in 1993, the Theodora Foundation strives to brighten sick children's time in hospital by financing and organizing visits of professional clowns at their bedside. In the last 14 years over 2 million children have received the individual visit of one of our "clown doctors", who offer them magical moments of fun full of color, music, stories and laughter. Training given by leading nursing schools, specialized doctors and artistic directors enables our artists to visit children in all pediatric departments and particularly those where children are hospitalized for a long time. Be they in emergency units, intensive care, oncology or orthopedic wards, all children receive the heart-warming visit of a clown doctor.
The Theodora Foundation has developed its activity in nine countries including Switzerland, Turkey, South Africa, Belarus, Hong Kong, France, Spain, England and Italy. In 2006, our team of 127 professional clowns visited close to 235,000 children in 95 hospitals located in 3 continents.
The world of children is truly borderless. Our clown doctors bring beaming smiles and peals of laughter to children across three continents. This well-known support program for children in hospital, in its form adopted by the Theodora Foundation, was in fact born in America.
In 1986, in New York Babies and Children Hospital, Michael Christensen, alias Dr. Stubs, was the precursor of this unique concept. André was then a student in an American university and discovered this activity through an article in Life Magazine, Several years later, back in Europe, after the death of his mother Theodora, the idea suddenly sprang back to his mind, and he and his brother Jan decided to establish a similar program in Switzerland, where it was unheard of. Fourteen years later, working in close to 100 hospitals in 3 continents, it is great to be able to come back to the birthplace of clown doctoring. Hospital clown visits have in fact existed for a long time: a century ago, the famous Fratellini Brothers regularly visited hospitals while on tour.
We are deeply grateful to the Gérald Genta watch company for most generously donated a magnificent watch to help finance the activities of the foundation throughout the 9 countries in which it is active. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Christie's for accepting this unique lot in their auction. May its future owner's eyes sparkle with as much joy as the eyes of the children when they catch sight of the clown doctor.
For the Theodora Foundation
André and Jan Poulie, Founders