Ping Pong 4 Purpose
by Kim Gilbert
A perfect storm of celebrities, sports stars, and sponsors converged on September 4, 2014 to participate in the 2nd Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose Challenge. L.A. Dodger star pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (along with his wife Ellen) host this yearly fundraiser for their organization Kershaw’s Challenge, which helps fund programs and housing for at-risk youth in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Zambia.
The excitement on the star-studded “blue carpet” could hardly be contained while a passion for paddles was officially ignited! Celebrities and stars like Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez, the Bachelorette’s Andi Dorfman, Chris Harrison, Jaleel White (Urkel), NBA Clippers Chris Paul, NBA Lakers Nick Young, Josh Beckett, and 108 Stitches actress Erin Cahill were all on hand to support the cause with their prowess and custom Uberpong paddles. Just then, up in the sky were flag laden skydivers making their final approach for a picturesque landing onto the field at Dodger Stadium with a special delivery of ping pong paddles to Team Kershaw. Ping Pong 4 Purpose had barely begun, but was already making event history!
The games and challenges all took place on beautiful blue JOOLA tables that fanned around the infield from first to third base. The event boasted a celebrity tournament, celebrity challenges, professional table tennis exhibitions, and a slew of social ping pong games to entertain and keep the sponsors and special guests socially engaged at a constant pace. If that wasn’t enough, there was plenty of gourmet food, cocktails, and a DJ spinning dance music to keep everyone entertained. Gold medals were given out to all of the social game winners and beautiful crystal awards were handed out to the tournament and social game finalists. Ping pong had successfully put back the “FUN” in fundraising!
Although glitz, glamour, and games were the focus of the scenery, only a select few understand what it takes to make events like this happen. It takes a lot of teamwork, creativity, and dedication, but the end result is a well-oiled template for charitable fundraising and corporate events. Since founding Kim Gilbert Ping Pong Events in 2011, I teamed up with Uberpong last March to handle event planning and strategy for major ping-pong themed events. For more information, feel free to contact me directly at www.kimgilbert.com.