Dec. 31--Inspired by her great-grandfather's work at Hearst Castle, fifth-generation Cambrian Dusty Kenney has found a way to give back to her community by supporting the now- celebrated place where he worked for nearly 30 years.
Nick Yost, a former photographer and record keeper for William Randolph Hearst, moved to Cambria in the 1930s from Michigan.
He recorded artifacts brought to the Castle and developed landscaped photographs in a darkroom Hearst built for him.
A couple of years ago, Kenney and her grandmother donated the images to the Castle to help with its restoration efforts.
Though Kenney never met her great-grandfather, she knew enough about him through diaries and journals left to her great-grandmother, Gladys, a former housekeeper for Hearst. Her grandmother also recalled stories of living near Hearst Castle.
Kenney did a stint at Cal Poly before opening up her own photography studio in the first floor of her Cayucos home in 2002.
Using her own passion for photography, Kenney started creating calendars last year to benefit local organizations. She raised $8,000 last year for the environmental conservation group Surfrider Foundation.
In the 2007 calendar, Kenney's images reflect historic landmarks throughout the county, including Mission San Miguel, the Embarcadero in Morro Bay and Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
"His legacy of preserving what's historical on the Central Coast inspired me to do the same," Kenney said of her great-grandfather. "By showing all of the different things around the Central Coast, I hope to bring the same kind of awareness."
Each image features local toddlers outfitted to match the landmarks. Kenney chose the children, including her own daughter, Ella, from a parenting group she belongs to.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Friends of Hearst Castle, which provides money for educational, interpretive and artifact conservation programs. The organization also supports increasing public access to Hearst Castle.
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