Although Los Angeles Lakers President Magic Johnson is quite busy these days, he carves out time for his family, his business and for causes that he deems appropriate. Thursday night, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Clayton Kershaw hosted his annual ‘Ping Pong 4 Purpose’ tournament, including an award presentation ceremony.
With Jimmy Kimmel as his master of ceremonies, the philanthropical event involved a pong pong tournament, a silent auction and chance to socialize with all those in attendance. Towards the end of the ceremonies, Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, presented the Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award.
This award honors the philanthropic work of a person and their foundation and was presented to Johnson and the Magic Johnson Foundation. Kershaw, who recently suffered a back injury after leading Major League Baseball in wins, stated how appreciate he and his wife were that Johnson was able to accept the award, via Matthew Moreno of DodgerBlue.com:
“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.”
The Magic Johnson Foundation has been helping out the community for some time, with the charitable acts stemming back to his playing days with the Lakers. Although Johnson’s charismatic personality is what most see on the surface, his foundation has been addressing the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.
He and his wife Cookie have dived head first into helping the community, especially in a subject that hits home for them. The Magic Johnson Foundation has been a leading charity in the Los Angeles area in the prevention of HIV and the passing of aids.
Johnson reflected on being awarded the Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award, stating how humbling the experience it is. However, he also gave credit to the Kershaws for all the magnificent work they have been doing in the community as well:
“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.”
The five-time champion made quite the hefty prediction at Kershaw’s annual event, stating that the Dodgers will win the World Series this season. The signature event raised money towards The Dream Center in Los Angeles and CURE International in the Dominican Republic.
Many Dodgers fans will still see Johnson in attendance at Dodger Stadium, after encompassing the original Guggenheim Baseball Management group that bought the Dodgers in 2012. With the Dodgers leading MLB in wins, it seems they have adopted the championship or bust culture the Lakers held down for quite some time.