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Celebrities and Athletes Come Together for Ping Pong Competition to Benefit Dream Center's Foster Care


Every year, for one glorious night in Dodger Stadium, ping pong is much more than a child's game-it's an opportunity to impact a child's life.

Star athletes and entertainers will compete in a celebrity ping pong tournament on the grounds of iconic Dodger Stadium, to raise money that gets kids and their families off the streets and back on their feet, or provides children from developing nations with life-changing but expensive medical procedures.

One of the beneficiaries of Ping Pong 4 Purpose will be the Los Angeles-based Dream Center's Foster Care Intervention program, which "provides food, clothing, diapers, cleaning supplies, appliances and furniture (for former foster children returning home). In some cases, the simple addition of a bed or safe crib is all a home needs to welcome back their child." The other beneficiary, CURE International, seeks to provide medical surgeries for children living in the Dominican Republic.

Held by Kershaw's Challenge, the non-profit organization led by Los Angeles Dodgers' star pitcher Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen, the 5th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose will take place Thursday, July 27th from 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm, with Master of Ceremonies Jimmy Kimmel overseeing the friendly tournament, pitting approximately 30 celebrities against each other in fierce ping pong battles. (The ancient game has been a favorite pastime of Clayton Kershaw since his childhood days in Dallas). Magic Johnson will receive the Kershaw's Challenge Impact Award in recognition of his lifetime of charitable work with the Magic Johnson Foundation.

The event will take place in the storied outfield of Dodger Stadium, where Rick Monday once rescued an American flag from an arsonist, where current Dodgers stars such as Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson are building their legends on a nightly basis, and where former MVP Kirk Gibson, despite being hobbled by two injured legs, once blasted the famous home run that inspired an underdog Dodgers team to achieve its most-recent World Series victory.

Kershaw's Challenge aspires to even loftier victories: in recent years, the charity has purchased land in Zambia, Africa, and built two homes for boys and girls with beneficiary Arise Africa; later the foundation helped fund land within the N'gombe compound. This year, the goal is to raise funds for a community school within the compound. Kershaw's Challenge has sponsored life-altering surgeries for children in the Dominican Republic, suffering from the painful and debilitating clubfoot syndrome. The organization also supports the Dream Center in Los Angeles, where young people benefit from a year-long, life-changing, comprehensive program that feeds them, clothes them, and helps them get off the streets, get off of controlled substances, if necessary, complete their educations, find jobs and build new, productive lives.

Never one to forget where they came from, Clayton and Ellen Kershaw's Dallas-based charity stays active in their beloved home city, with endeavors that have included donating baseball equipment, building a field, renovating a community center and funding afterschool programming. Another goal of the Kershaws is building a handicap accessible baseball field in Dallas.

Major sponsors for the event include UCLA Healthcare, American Airlines, Killerspin, Goldman Sachs, TOMS, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Levi's, Diageo, Papa John's, Budweiser, Security Benefit, and iHeartMedia.

Other key partners include Sugarfina, Hidden Garden, Lounge Appeal, SJM Radio, Art of the Game, the Vanity Project, Diaper Dude, MS Event Production, Sprinkles and Westin Bonaventure.

In the past, the tournament has attracted stars such as Susan Sarandon, Will Ferrell, George Lopez, Matthew Perry, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Gabby Douglas, Craig Robinson, KEVIN FRAZIER, Mario Lopez, current Dodgers such as AdrIan Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, and Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, as well as Doc Rivers, Eric Stonestreet, Ken Jeong, Josh Duhamel, Derek Hough and Dodgers legends such as Orel Hershiser and Eric Karros.

About Kershaw's Challenge and its partners for 2017

The vision of Kershaw's Challenge is "challenging yourself to do something. Challenging friends to make a difference. Challenging the community to come together. Challenging the world to become a better place." In addition, Kershaw makes a personal donation to his own charity each time he records a strikeout in a Dodgers game. According to ESPN Stats & Info, this season Kershaw became the second-fastest player in major league history to record 2,000 strikeouts (277 games). The charity began in 2011, when Kershaw and his wife Ellen were inspired by the story of a Zambian girl in need ... a girl named Hope. Kershaw's Challenge is excited to continue partnering with the four organizations below.

CURE Dominican Republic is located in the capital city of Santo Domingo. It is one of nine CURE International Hospitals worldwide that focus on treating correctable conditions like clubfoot, hydrocephalus, cleft lips/palates and other physical disabilities among children in developing nations.

The Kershaws began supporting Arise Africa - Zambia even before they established Kershaw's Challenge. The 2017 goal is to raise funds to build a community school on the N'gombe compound, where children receive food, clothing, shelter, education and encouragement.

The Dream Center in Los Angeles focuses on "reconnecting isolated people to God and a community of support by providing human services that address immediate and long-term needs in areas of homelessness, hunger relief, medical care and education." The 2017 goal is to collect funds and other valuables for the center's annual Back to School Bash and Foster Care Intervention Program.

Behind Every Door operates in the Kershaws' hometown of Dallas. The organization endeavors to get to know the children and families it serves and to collaborate with community organizations, churches and businesses to address each family's needs. In 2017, the goals are to remodel a community center, underwrite an afterschool program.

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