Clayton and Ellen Kershaw hosted the fifth annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose charity event at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, welcoming several Los Angeles Dodgers players, actors and professional athletes.
The signature event raised money for two beneficiaries of Kershaw’s Challenge: The Dream Center in Los Angeles and CURE International in the Dominican Republic. The Dream Center is a volunteer-driven organization that lends aid to individuals and families through various programs.
The Ping Pong 4 Purpose event this year generated support for the Dream Center’s Foster Care Intervention Program. “We are so honored by the continued partnership with Kershaw’s Challenge,” Dream Center CEO Matthew Barnett said in a statement to DodgerBlue.com.
“Our goals and visions are aligned, so that makes this partnership to help the people of Los Angeles even great. Ping Pong 4 Purpose is such a great even that promotes awareness of what Kershaw’s Challenge, CURE International, and The Dream Center are doing around the world.”
CURE International provides free medical surgeries and treatment to children in the Dominican Republic, and the organization has funded to build a school in Zambia, Africa. “We continue to raise more and more (money),” Kershaw said. “It’s going to two amazing beneficiaries tonight. I couldn’t be more excited.”
The night also included honoring Dodgers co-owner and Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson for his charitable work throughout the community. Johnson received the Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award on behalf of the Magic Johnson Foundation.
“Magic is an embodiment of providing in the community with his foundation,” Kershaw said. “He uses his platform to help so many other people. He was gracious enough to come to accept it, so we definitely wanted to highlight somebody that’s in the Los Angeles community day in and day out that makes such a positive impact on so many people.”
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Johnson was equally praising of Kershaw’s Challenge and their initiatives, and the award he received. “It means a lot, especially coming from the Kershaws. This is amazing,” Johnson said of the honor. “Clayton and his wife, the work that they’re doing is awesome. To reach out and give back says a lot about both Clayton and Ellen.
“To use their celebrity and fame, take time out not just to write a check but to be there physically to help. They’re just awesome people. We’re blessed to have the best pitcher who also has the biggest heart. Clayton has been awesome for all of us. I’m blessed to receive the award from them.”
Jimmy Kimmel served as Master of Ceremonies, while also forming a duo in the tournament with Justin Turner. They defeated a tandem of Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Casey Affleck but were subsequently eliminated in the second round.
Celebrities in attendance included Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Danny Trejo and contestants from ABC’s “The Bachelor.” In addition to Johnson and Walton, the Lakers were represented by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Presenting sponsors included Levi’s and TOMS, both of whom provided products at no cost to patrons. Three versions of Levi’s iconic jean jacket were available, with the option of customization for a minimum $100 donation. TOMS provided various models of sunglasses.