The Venetian and The Palazzo are teaming up this season with two-time, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw to raise money for at-risk youth in Africa, Los Angeles, and Dallas (Pictured: Kershaw Challenge – Photo credit: The Venetian).
The Las Vegas resorts have pledged $100 per strikeout in the 2014 regular and post-seasons in support of Kershaw’s Challenge, the 501c3 organization founded by Clayton and his wife, Ellen. Continuing a campaign he’s undertaken for the past few years, Clayton also will be donating for each of his strikeouts.
Photo credit: The Venetian.
Kershaw’s Challenge was established in 2012 after the couple took a 2010 humanitarian trip to Lusaka, Zambia. During their visit, they met Hope, a young orphan who was battling malnourishment and HIV. The Kershaws sponsored the child, ensuring she would have schooling, nutritional meals, and mentorship possibilities.
Building off their relationship with Hope, Kershaw’s Challenge expanded its work to a number of charities, including Mercy Street in Dallas and Sharefest in Los Angeles.
“It means so much to Ellen and me that The Venetian and The Palazzo are joining the Kershaw’s Challenge team for this upcoming season,” said Kershaw. “They have a long tradition of supporting nonprofits around the world, and we feel very fortunate to partner with them to benefit our efforts and change the lives of underprivileged children in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Zambia.”
While Kershaw and his wife were in Las Vegas, they co-hosted a baseball clinic with The Venetian and The Palazzo for the members of Vegas’ Junior Giants. The Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive, and innovative baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-18 years old. It gives at-risk kids a meaningful partnership with community-based organizations and provides an alternative to drugs, gangs, and crime.
“It’s great to see The Venetian and The Palazzo team up with Clayton in support of such a great cause,” said Gene Tate, Junior Giants’ commissioner. “Our kids were in awe that an athlete of his stature would take time out of his busy schedule to motivate underprivileged youth in the Las Vegas community. He is truly an inspiration to youth all around the world regarding hard work, dedication, and giving back to the community.”
Kershaw worked side-by-side with Tate and his team of coaches to oversee baseball drills of fielding, hitting, base-running, and pitching. He also addressed the organization and youth about the importance of physical health as well as scholastic achievement.
Kershaw was named the National League Cy Young Award winner in both 2011 and 2013, and he was honored with baseball’s highest humanitarian honor, the Roberto Clemente Award in 2012. His win/loss record this past season was 16-9, during which he posted a 1.83ERA while striking out 232 batters.