More than 95 years ago, the Anti-Defamation League was formed with the mission to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry by exposing hate groups and extremists. The Anti-Defamation League also safeguards civil rights and educates people of all backgrounds to stop hate before it can even take root.

This year, the ADL honored Darryl Berger, Denise Thornton and Doug Thornton by awarding them with the A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award.

Darryl Berger, an entrepreneur who works in commercial real estate, consistently gives back to the city and state through his service on institutional boards and his support of civic and social justice organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League’s advisory board.

Denise Thornton, who established the Beacons of Hope following Hurricane Katrina, has assisted homeowners in the area in the rebuilding process.

Her husband, Doug Thornton, in addition to being a co-founder for Beacons of Hope, was the leader of the largest stadium reconstruction project ever in the U.S. He oversaw renovations of the Louisiana Superdome post-Katrina and turned it into a symbol of triumph over tragedy.

The three shined among hundreds of guests at The Roosevelt New Orleans on December 6, 2009. The evening festivities kicked off with a cocktail reception followed by a dinner and an awards presentation.

Co-chairs of the event were Harold and Carol Asher; Ron and Sally Forman; and Louis and Dana Shepard.