Spring Engagement at NoMad Raises $250,000 for Freedom to Marry



Powerful Names in Hospitality Unite to Advance Campaign for Marriage


Press Contact:
Nicole Collins Bronzan
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry

New York – A dinner and cocktail party at the NoMad Thursday night raised $250,000 for Freedom to Marry’s on-the-ground work to win marriage nationwide. The sold-out event, underwritten by business magnate Ron Burkle, was hosted by Sydell Group CEO Andrew Zobler and Manny Urquiza, who got engaged during the rooftop cocktail party portion of the night. Honorary co-chairs were Arcus Foundation President Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelovic, and event co-chairs were Freedom to Marry board members Benjamin Dixon and Otho Kerr.

Notable host committee members included Chef David Chang, founder of the Momofuku restaurant group; Nick Jones, founder and chief executive of Soho House; and restaurateur Will Guidara and Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park. Other notable host committee members included former Republican National Committee Chairman Mehlman; award-winning Broadway producer Jordan Roth and television producer Richie Jackson; and Armani Exchange CEO Harlan Bratcher and Christie’s head of corporate communications, Toby Usnik. 

The evening included a formal dinner, followed by rooftop cocktails and silent auctions of vacation packages and jewelry. Attendees included the real estate developer Jane Goldman; the journalist and author Victoria Goldman; and Margaret Hoover, a political strategist, author, and CNN commentator who is a leader of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said: “These stellar supporters are stepping up in the fight for the freedom to marry because they believe in an America where all loving, committed couples can marry. They also know that Freedom to Marry is the winning campaign that's going to get us there, from our strategic leadership to our pioneering public education to our pivotal on-the-ground work in winning states. Campaigns need fuel, and with this welcome infusion of new funding, Freedom to Marry can keep delivering more victories, including the 2013 sweet marriage wins in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota, with more to come."

Mr. Zobler, whose company owns the NoMad Hotel, said: "We feel a perfect affinity between our culture at NoMad and the mission at Freedom to Marry and are happy to be able to host an event for them. Freedom to Marry collaborates with organizations all around the country to fight for the basic civil right to marry the person that you love. We are so proud to be able to be part of that most important of collaborations."

Funds raised through Spring Engagement at NoMad go to Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund and are channeled directly into work to win marriage in the states. After four wins at the ballot in 2012, Freedom to Marry has driven campaigns to victory in Delaware, Minnesota and Rhode Island this year, and working to win the freedom to marry in Illinois and New Jersey in 2013, among other states.

In addition to providing critical funding for marriage work, Freedom to Marry’s central support to state campaigns includes a team of experienced political operatives, messaging research, new media expertise and coordination, cutting-edge programming, and strategic leadership.

For professional photographs from the NoMad event, please email nicole@freedomtomarry.org.


Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.