Matthew McConaughey Honored, Ashton Kutcher And Mila Kunis Highlight Attendees At Kershaw’s Challenge Ping Pong 4 Purpose
Clayton Kershaw, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Matthew McConaughey, Kershaw's Challenge 2018 Ping Pong 4 Purpose
Alberto E. Rodriguez-Getty Images

Ellen and Clayton Kershaw hosted the sixth annual Kershaw’s Challenge Ping Pong 4 Purpose, with several Los Angeles Dodgers players, celebrities and other professional athletes attending the sold-out event at Dodger Stadium.

The night was used to support Kershaw’s Challenge beneficiaries, the Dream Center, International Justice Mission’s work in the Dominican republic, and the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation’s programs in Los Angeles.

Camila and Matthew McConaughey were honored with the second ever Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award for work through their Just Keep Livin’ Foundation. Lakers president of basketball operations and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was the award’s first recipient.

Matthew received the award on the couple’s behalf. “It means a lot,” he told DodgerBlue.com of being recognized by the Kershaws. “We have like-minded goals with what we wanted to do with our foundations, time and our charities the last three years.

“Now we’re finally starting to actually work together. We’re both from Texas, both happy to have successful lives and we both have foundations with a similar goal. If you can team up, it just makes it that much better and that much more fun.

“I know some people who have their charities and foundations, and they don’t want to partner. I’ve never understood that. If you can partner, the more the merrier.”

Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston served as the honorary host of the event, which included a star-studded and entertaining ping pong tournament. The majority of Kershaw’s teammates have seen how serious he takes the matches, which Brian Dozier quickly learned about.

“A lot of the guys coming into it, was, ‘Play some ping pong and go through the motions.’ But the guys in the clubhouse talk a lot of crap, so I had to bring my tennis shoes and make sure I’m ready to rock and roll,” he said.

Dozier, however, refused to tip his hand on how skilled of a ping player he might be. “I played a lot, and that’s it,” Dozier said. “I’m leaving it at that. I don’t want to say I’m good, I don’t want to say I’m bad. Just keep them guessing.”

This year marked the first time since 2015 that injury didn’t prevent Kershaw from participating in his foundation’s signature event. He was dressed for the occasion, paired with Austin Barnes, and proclaimed they were going to emerge victorious.

But Kershaw and Barnes were eliminated in the semifinals. Prior to that, they triumphed in a memorable match against Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

The loss in the semifinals was the only defeat Kershaw took on the night, as attendees did their part to raise the targeted goal of $126,000 to contribute to the International Justice Mission in support of their work to stop child trafficking.

Each rescue was priced at $6,300, and Kershaw explained it entails “uncovering the slavery and trafficking crimes that are happening, removing children from the exploitation, and providing immediate recovery care for the victims.”

In addition, funds raised through a silent auction will be used to build a playground for children at the Dream Center, which Kershaw’s Challenge works closely with.

Ellen and Clayton were universally praised throughout the night, and particularly by Justin Turner who himself is active in providing for those in need. “It’s unbelievable,” Turner said of their work.

“It’s something Kourt and I really take pride in giving back and getting involved in the community, they’re two people we look up to because we know they do it right and know they have such an enormous impact on so many kids all around the world. This is a night we wouldn’t miss for anything.”