Former Ziegfeld Girl and Husband Leave a Lasting Legacy
The legacy of the late Marion Beard Hutner and her husband Bernie Hutner will long be remembered by those whom their generosity touched, including the 40,000 men, women and children that Volunteers of America – Greater New York serves each year. Between 2007 and 2009, we were honored to learn that both Mr. and Mrs. Hutner had chosen to include Volunteers of America in their wills with bequests totaling over $440,000. Having no previous knowledge of the Hutners’ interest in our cause, we were deeply moved by what we learned of the couple’s lives and their tremendous spirit of giving.
Born in 1909, Marion Beard moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to New York City at 16 years old with hopes of stardom. A stunning and talented young woman, Marion (under her stage name Marion Santre) soon had her Broadway debut in Sons O’Guns (1929), followed by performances in Broadway’s Princess Charming (1930), Hot-Cha! (1932), and The Dubarry (1932). However, Marion is perhaps best known for her historical role as a “Ziegfeld Girl,” performing in Broadway’s famous Ziegfeld Follies, which ran from 1907 to 1931. These popular performances featured the beautiful girls in the chorus line who became known as Ziegfeld Girls and served as the inspiration for what we presently know as the Radio City Rockettes.
Offstage, Marion met and married Bernie Hutner, a clothing store owner and investor from Fort Wayne, Indiana. They were married for nearly 50 years. Throughout their lives, the Hutners were dedicated philanthropists. Marion was deeply devoted to children, and until the age of 89 would travel to the Bronx several times a week to volunteer her time at a daycare center there.
Although she led an extraordinary life, Marion never forgot her humble beginnings. According to her dear friend, Danny Madden, Marion never used the front door of her Sutton Place apartment building, always entering and exiting from the service entrance – a true testament to her humility. In the end, Marion and Bernie would leave nearly everything they had to charity, a surprise to many who had never known them in life, but are now celebrating the generous lives that they led.
Volunteers of America is privileged to have been part of the distinguished list of causes that mattered to the Hutners. We will honor their legacy by continuing to help those most in need, as Marion and Bernie did, offering a path for the men, women and children we serve to live safe, healthy, and independent lives.
LEAVE A LEGACY
If you would like to create your own legacy, as Marion and Bernie did, please call Rachel Weinstein, Director of Development, at (212) 496-4305.
There are almost as many ways that you can create a legacy as there are needs to be met. We are here to answer any questions you might have or to discuss in depth your charitable gift options for you and your family. You can contact us, without any obligation, and we will be happy to speak with you or send you information that you can discuss with your estate planner or accountant.