$1.5 million donated over 30 years, and Susan and Gary Martin are not done yet!
The Martins have been building their legacy of caring and commitment to MPTF for decades. Gary worked in the industry for 52 years, starting as a laborer when he was just 17 in 1961. He retired in 2013 as president of production administration at Sony after a 32-year career at Columbia, then TriStar Motion Picture Group and Sony, where he helped define the company’s impressive record of huge box office hits, overseeing the production of films like Tootsie and Ghostbusters as well as Men in Black, Spider-Man and Casino Royale.
He says, “In the beginning of your career, there is no thought of an estate; you are working long, hard hours. As things progress, you start thinking about your legacy and taking care of your family. And later you think about how you can make a difference and help the people who helped you, and that is why we made a planned gift to MPTF, which has been taking take care of entertainment industry members for close to 100 years!”
Gary became interested in MPTF because it was the primary charity his parents supported, and it became a natural fit for Susan and Gary to continue the tradition of giving throughout their 51 (and counting) years of married life. Gary’s father, Ivan, began his career in 1946 working as a carpenter in the industry. In 1948, Ivan signed a payroll pledge card and made contributions to Motion Picture Relief Fund (as MPTF was known at the time). Ivan continued supporting MPTF through a payroll pledge for the rest of his life as he worked his way up, eventually becoming the head of studio operations at Fox.
The Martin name is a very familiar one on MPTF’s Wasserman campus. Thanks to Susan and Gary’s generosity, three cottages on the MPTF campus bear the names of Martin family members, as well as a gazebo named in memory of Ivan. In 2017 the remodeled, upgraded and newly named Susan and Gary Martin Screening Room opened on the MPTF campus, and most recently they made a sizable donation to underwrite MPTF’s Veterans Benefits Assistance Program, which helps entertainment industry military veterans secure their VA benefits.
“We have been fortunate that we have the means to donate like we do because it’s all about taking care of the people who work in the industry, whether they work above or below the line in the unions and guilds. We hope sharing our estate gift story may inspire others to include MPTF in their plans too.”