Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell honored the final MB resident to medal at the 2012 London Olympics Tuesday night.
Kerri Walsh Jennings was applauded for her efforts on and off the beach volleyball court, graciously accepting Powell's "I Heart MB" award and a key to the city during a presentation at the beginning of the City Council meeting.
Walsh Jennings, who took home her third gold medal this past summer with Misty May-Treanor in women's beach volleyball, was the final ceremony of three in which Powell feted Olympic athletes.
When asked, Walsh Jennings spoke about her Chase the Stars foundation, which provides opportunities for kids she called "under served," including those who are sick or do not have the financial means to pursue their dreams.
"I want to give these kids hope to chase their dreams," she told the audience.
Some of the organizations that benefit from Chase the Stars include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Shriners Hospitals and Ronald McDonald House Charities, she said.
"I am proud to have this platform where I can not only raise money for these kids but give their cause a voice."
When Powell asked her if there is a beach volleyball hall of fame and she said it is in Hermosa Beach, the caught-off-guard athlete said she was too young and not yet finished with her career to be immortalized on it yet. Powell noted that HB Mayor Kit Bobko and Councilman Howard Fishman were in the audience.
Said Walsh Jennings of MB, "I'm very proud to be from Northern California and it takes a very special place to make me feel at home and have the courage enough to chase my dreams. And Manhattan Beach and all of you guys have embraced me and my family so well. I'm very, very grateful."
Shortly before heading home to her "boys" [she is married and has two young sons], Walsh Jennings couldn't help by say, "Gold in Rio."
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