Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw is known for his charitable contributions.
He and his wife Ellen started their charity, entitled Kershaw’s Challenge, back in 2011 after a trip to Zambia in the offseason. The mission was simple: to help vulnerable and at-risk children across the globe.
Since then, Kershaw’s Challenge has raised over $17 million dollars for children. The charity partners with other non-profit organizations on the front lines of change to give children a better life. Through these organizations, Kershaw’s challenge has helped kids in Africa, the Dominican Republic, Los Angeles, and Dallas, Texas.
Each year, Clayton and Ellen host fundraising events in their hometown of Dallas and in Los Angeles, where they reside during the MLB season. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple’s annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose event went on hiatus for two years.
The event returned in 2022, and was held at Dodger Stadium on Monday, August 8th with host Rob Lowe.
The 8th edition of the event was the best one yet. In addition to Kershaw’s Dodger teammates, A-list celebrities and athletes arrived in droves for some food, fun, and ping-pong.
Lowe, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Will Ferrell, Klay Thompson, Brad Paisley, Mario Lopez, Aloe Blacc, Guillermo (Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Lamorne Morris, Austin Reaves, Max Greenfield, Gabriel Iglesias, Omar Miller, Zach King, Lisa Leslie, Robert Horry, Tanya Rad, Sisanne, Becca Tilley, Pete Wentz, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Angela Kinsey, Wells Adams, and DJ Severe were among the celebrities in attendance.
“The 8th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose event exceeded every expectation,” said Clayton and Ellen Kershaw after the event. “It was an incredible night—not only an epic ping pong tournament, but most importantly we raised a lot funds to support our beneficiaries. This event was a team effort—we are so appreciative of the sponsors and staff who made it
possible. It was a night we will replay over and over again.”
The event raised over $1 million dollars for Kershaw’s Challenge charity and those funds will be spread out among this year’s partner organizations including Shoes That Fit, The Dream Center, Arise Africa, Both Ends Believing, and International Justice Mission.
Attendees of the event were greeted by Dodger Stadium’s brand new “front door” at the recently renovated centerfield plaza. After checking in with event officials, celebrities and guests were able to take pictures and interviews on the blue carpet. Inside the event, located on the warning track, multiple food and beverage sponsors were set up for guests who wanted to grab a drink or a bite to eat before heading into the action of the ping-pong tournament.
Fresh Brothers pizza, Dodger dogs, Justin Winery, Shake Shack, Yogurtland, and Raising Canes were all available for attendees.
Located on the infield were the 15 pin pong tables set up for the tournament. All 15 tables were donated to non-profit organizations throughout the LA area after the event. Including Variety Boys and Girls Club, John Muir High School, Miguel Contreras Center, New Village Academy, Lincoln Park Center, Boys and Girls Club East Los Angeles, and Solano Elementary School.
Skechers and UCLA Health were the presenting sponsors and each had multiple activations set up at the event including a massage area, bean bag chairs, Skechers giveaways, and an art area where fans could receive a Skechers branded Kershaw’s Challenge hat and have a custom spray paint design on it.
Both SPIN magazine and STIGA US helped with the tournament, and for non participants in the tournament, there was a Hot Wheels toy activation with games, a Barbie photo booth, giveaways, a silent action with one-of-a-kind spots memorabilia, live music and entertainment, as well as a special Skechers prize giveaway for donors.
Other sponsors for the event included American Airlines, FIJI Water, Security Benefit, The Art of the Game, The Berns Team, Titos, Wicked Curve, Avedis Fine Jewelry, Budweiser, Garrison Brothers, Happy Jewelry, Hidden
Garden, Kaenon, Linus, Lou’s Golfcarts, MS Event Production, Mustard, Phat Scooter, Premier Lighting,
Seven Teas, SJM Industrial Radio, Travis Matthews, Town and Country, Yogurtland, PokerPeople.com
and Zadun, A Ritz Carlton Reserve.
After a fun and epic ping-pong tournament, Dr. Richard Merkin and Anastasia Rybka defeated Dodgers’ shortstop Trea Turner & tennis player Mardy Fish in the finals.
Check out the video at the beginning of this article to see more highlights and interviews from the event.