Philanthropic Fun: Caring Into Action

Steve Gleason and Warner Thomas were presented the A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award by the Anti-Defamation League.
William Prieur, Honoree Steve Gleason Michel Varisco and Dinner Chair Zach Strief


The Anti-Defamation League’s “A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner” presented its esteemed award to honorees Warner Thomas of Ochsner Health System and Steve Gleason, former New Orleans Saint and founder of Team Gleason. Award recipients personify the noblest traditions of the United States of America and are well-known for their community and public service, philanthropic endeavors and personal commitment to making the world a better place.

In lieu of flowers, this year’s table decorations featured student artwork submitted during ADL’s annual art and poetry contest illuminated by twinkle lights. The program included dinner beginning with salad, with an entrée of pan-seared Loch Duart salmon over roasted Brussels sprouts, Covey Rise kale and braised tomato, followed by a dessert of mocha cheesecake with pear compote. In addition, potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce were provided as part of the Hanukkah celebration.

David Gaines and Bill Oliver served as Chairs for Warner Thomas, and Phyllis Taylor and Zach Strief served as Chairs for Steve Gleason.

Approximately 620 patrons attended the dinner to support the ADL and recognize Warner Thomas and Steve Gleason for their embodiment of the ADL’s ideals: Striving to build a future in which every citizen will share the fruits of democracy.

Event at a Glance

What: “A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner,” benefiting Anti-Defamation League
When: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Dinner Chair Bill Oliver, Honoree Warner Thomas, Rene Doucet and Dinner Chair David Gaines
Barney Mintz Award Honoree Brook Bissinger, Education Director Melissa Licali and Barney Mintz Award Honoree Sarah Vandergriff 
Board Member Sherrie Goodman, Bill Goldring and Regional Director Aaron Ahlquist 
 Board Member Jill Israel and Board Vice-Chair Irving Warshaver
Board Member Edgar “Dooky” Chase, Board Chair Ann Thompson and Past Board Chair Michael Botnick