Dinner Chair Tim Francis, Honoree Arthur Roger and Dinner Chairs Jack Sullivan and Marc Behar


The Torch of Liberty Award is presented by the Anti-Defamation League to individuals who personify the noblest traditions of the United States of America. Honorees are well-known for their community and public service, philanthropic endeavors and personal commitment to making the world a better place. This year’s A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Awards were presented to honorees Robert Merrick and Arthur Roger and Special Honoree Allison Padilla-Goodman.

Joe Exnicios, Lacey Conway, Hardy Fowler, Rick Haase, Sherry and Alan Leventhal, Tim Francis, Marc Behar and Jack Sullivan served as Dinner Chairs.

A VIP cocktail reception at 8-Block Restaurant prior to the dinner allowed honorees and their distinguished guests an opportunity to share a special toast in honor of their contribution to our community. Passed hors d’oeuvres included Smoked Salmon on a Buckwheat Blini with Lemon Chive Crème Fraiche and Ahi Tuna Poke with Wakame Salad.

The gala featured wine and liquor provided by Republic National Distributing Company and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Dinner was catered by the Hyatt Regency. Centerpieces were created with great care by Vivian Cahn with beautiful red roses provided by Canseco’s.

More than 630 attendees at the dinner. This was also the first “Torch of Liberty Dinner” under the leadership of Aaron Ahlquist, the ADL South Central Region’s new Regional Director.


Event at a Glance

What: “A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner,” benefiting Anti-Defamation League
When: Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Where: Hyatt New Orleans