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STRIKEOUTS SAVE LIVES

Clayton Kershaw Uses CFT Fund to Raise Money for African Children

Clayton (wearing cap) and Ellen Kershaw in Zambia with Arise Africa.

 DALLAS NATIVE AND LOS ANGELES DODGERS PITCHER CLAYTON KERSHAW fused his natural baseball ability with helping children in need last season when he began pledging $100 for every strikeout to support children in Africa.

 “I had the opportunity to go to Africa with my wife Ellen,” says Clayton. “My eyes were opened to the difficulties surrounding these children every day: risk of disease, lack of proper nutrition and dreadful living conditions.” Last year, Ellen and Clayton Kershaw started Kershaw’s Challenge to raise funds to build Hope’s Home—an orphanage for vulnerable children, many of whom are affected by HIV.

 “When we started the challenge, we didn’t know where to turn or who could help us,” says Ann Higginbottom, director of Kershaw’s Challenge. “CFT answered all our questions and put us at ease. We are so thankful to be under the umbrella of CFT, whose staff is ensuring that we ‘dot our i’s and cross our t’s.’ It’s the perfect answer for us.”

 As Kershaw’s Challenge gained momentum, so did Clayton’s career. In 2011, Clayton led the National League with 248 strikeouts, qualifying for the “Triple Crown” of pitching (lowest ERA, most wins and most strikeouts). He also won the National League Cy Young Award, which is given annually to the best pitcher.

 “It is truly humbling that at the moment we began the challenge, everything fell into place, on and off the field,” says Ellen. “We can’t wait to see what the 2012 season has to hold for Kershaw’s Challenge. We hope it’s the best season yet.”

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