The Crowd: Celebrating silver with Olympic medalists

It was a block party with a very special silver lining. An Olympic silver medal lining to be exact.

On Monday evening, on a quiet cul de sac in Costa Mesa, neighbors, friends, admirers and fans of 2012 Olympic silver medalists April Ross-Keenan and Jen Kessy along with their coach Jeff Conover came together to celebrate victory, taking over the massive rear yard of hosts Gary and Sherry Rorden's home in good, old-fashioned, neighborhood block party style.

"We've known these girls their whole lives," Colleen Place resident Sherry Rorden said with a smile from ear to ear. "April grew up right here on this block. We could not be more proud."

Ross-Keenan joined Kessy in delivering a few words of appreciation.

"Thank you so much for coming," she said. "Don't think we are over all the congratulations, just keep it coming — we love it, can't get too much love!"

Volleyball star Ross-Keenan, 30, married to Brad Keenan, also a pro volleyball athlete, arrived at the Rorden home with her dad, Glen Ross, and step-mom Lynda Ross. The super proud dad was busy managing the throng of well-wishers and taking photos, joining Ross-Keenan's sister Amy Ross and her friend Jeff Marshall and stepbrother Weston Wagonner. Also front and center were Ross-Keenan's in-laws, Greg and Mary Keenan, and grandfather Ed Ross.

Kessy's family included mom Charlotte and brother Ryan with his fiancé, Michelle Chang. Cousins Anna and Matt Watters were there with daughter, Emma, supporting the silver medalist.

Some 200 guests enjoyed a summer buffet of barbecued hot dogs and ribs supplied by Tulsa Rib Co. of Orange and underwritten by Steve and Liz Parker, fellow Colleen Place neighbors of the Rorden family. Costa Mesa's Where's the Party donated the balloons with décor in the hands of Amy Ross, Kelly Rorden and Reann Nathan.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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