Media mogul William Randolph Hearst, whose life inspired the movie Citizen Kane, had set out to build himself “a little something” on a piece of land in San Simeon, along California’s stunning Pacific coast. After 28 years, the project had become a 165-room Moorish castle surrounded by beautiful grounds, its own zoo, tennis courts, and two magnificent swimming pools.
After Hearst died and his family’s fortunes declined, the Hearsts donated the castle and lands to the State of California, which turned it into a state park and historical monument that is open to the public.
The Morro Bay club secured the fabulous venue for a fashion show of vintage 1930s styles as well as the latest fashions. Docents modeled outfits and acted as celebrities, gossip columnists, servants, and other visitors of the period, allowing guests to catch a glimpse of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed during the castle’s heyday.
And, since the club was raising money to help send swimmer Jake Hammack to the 2001 Deaf World Games, the club requested a special touch that thrilled the audience filled with encouraging fans: Jake modeled a 1930s-era bathing suit.
“Jake is such a neat young man,” notes club service chair Rita McCallum. “He wore the Quota jacket we gave him in 1997 when we sent him to the Deaf World Games in Denmark. We’re so glad to help him!”
Jake was only 17 years old during the 1997 games, where he earned a Gold Medal in the medley relay as the youngest male swimmer on the U.S. team. QI of Morro Bay picked up all expenses not covered by the Olympic Committee for Jake’s successful trip.
During trials last summer in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., Jake finished first in eight events to lead the U.S. swim team into the 2001 Deaf World Games in Rome, July 22-August 1. The Morro Bay club, which also awarded Jake a scholarship for studies at Cuesta College, was delighted to offer Jake a check for U.S.$3,600 to follow his dream to compete against other world-class athletes.
But even after the substantial donation to the young athlete, the club still had plenty of funds for other community service, having netted U.S.$6,000 during the fashion show.
And that kind of success will never go out of style.