Stefanie Keenan/Getty Clayton Kershaw
Less than a week after the passing of legendary Dodgers voice Vin Scully, pitcher Clayton Kershaw gathered celebrity friends and teammates for his annual fundraiser, which the 34-year-old athlete thinks was "kind of fitting" given the announcer's history of philanthropy.
Kershaw, who hosted his and wife Ellen's eighth annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose event at Dodger Stadium on Monday, spoke to PEOPLE about continuing to carry on Scully's charitable efforts for the Dodger organization.
"Vin was very charitable as well," Kershaw says. "He had a lot of things on his heart that he always brought up and talked about."
The MLB all-star thinks it's "kind of fitting" to be hosting his annual fundraising tournament after the Dodgers legend's passing. "To be able to do something charitable, I think it's kind of fitting in his honor a little bit," says Kershaw.
The MLB all-star adds, "Vin has been the iconic part of the Dodgers for as long as I've been here and for the rest of time. We're so grateful for what he's meant to the organization."
Kershaw's celebrity tournament raised over $1 million on Monday night, with proceeds going to Kershaw's Challenge and its 2022 beneficiaries, which include Shoes That Fit, The Dream Center, Arise Africa, Both Ends Believing and International Justice Mission.
Scully, who started announcing Dodgers games in 1950, died Aug. 2 at the age of 94. The icon spent more than 60 years with the team, before retiring in 2016.
"He was the voice of the Dodgers, and so much more," the team shared in a touching statement. "He was their conscience, their poet laureate, capturing their beauty and chronicling their glory from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson to Clayton Kershaw."
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The organization went on to salute Scully as "the heartbeat of the Dodgers — and in so many ways, the heartbeat of Los Angeles."
"We have lost an icon," Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten added. "The Dodgers' Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family."