Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen hosted the fourth annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose charity event at Dodger Stadium on Thursday to benefit the Los Angeles Dream Center and CURE International in the Dominican Republic.
For the Dream Center, money raised is used to sponsor the annual Back To School Bash, as well as their transitional housing program that aids homeless families.
What’s more, Kershaw’s Challenge this year is sponsoring 100 surgeries for CURE International in the Dominican Republic. Prior to the Ping Pong 4 Purpose event formally kicking off, more money had been raised than year’s past.
“Which is a testament to what this event has become,” Kershaw said.
Several celebrities were on hand, including emcee Will Farrell, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez and Mario Lopez, among others. Also in attendance on the Dodgers’ off-day were several of Kershaw’s teammates, including Kiké Hernandez, Howie Kendrick, Justin Turner and Chase Utley.
Reigning champion Orel Hershiser was on hand to defend his title, though Hershiser wasn’t joined by his doubles partner Josh Henderson. “I’ve been taking care of my paddle all year and kind of making sure it’s in good shape,” Hershiser said from the blue carpet.
“Hopefully it’ll work tonight.” Hershiser was partnered with Scott Kazmir and the two unceremoniously were bounced out of the first round by actor Eric Stonestreet and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
Renowned comedy actor Will Ferrell hosted the event, at one point deadpanning that 200 coyotes would be released into Dodger Stadium after attendees were coated in bacon grease. “It’s called our danger round,” Ferrell said.
Philanthropist and founder of the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Dennis Gilbert, who is also a former sports agent, became the first recipient of the Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award.