The Turtle Creek Association’s Annual Gala Presented a Renewed Dialogue in Celebration of the Corridor and Ongoing Improvements

(Featured photo: Gloria Wagner, Rick Janecek; Teresa Byrd, Presenting Sponsor and Honorary Chair; JD Trueblood, President and CEO, TCA.)

It is always a good sign for a gala’s success when supporters arrive early to bid on the fabulous silent auction items and old friends and new enjoy the cocktail hour chatting about the continuing improvements along the Turtle Creek corridor and upcoming plans for the future.

JD Trueblood, President and CEO, Turtle Creek Association (TCA), along with Sharon Ballew, Vice President of Development, led two very exciting events: the annual Turtle Creek Association’s gala presented by Teresa Byrd, honorary chair, and a couple of days later, the Tour of Homes presented by honorary chairs Kyle Crews, Ani Nosnik and The URBAN Team of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate.

During the gala reception, guests such as Reception Sponsor Sue Krider; Dee Genova, Board Chair; Karisti Julia, Deborah and Richard Stanford, Dr. Ann Stuart, Elyce and David Walthall, Christopher Walthall and more, enjoyed Johnathan Ballew softly strumming classic rock and pop hits as tasty hors d’oeuvres were passed and wine and cocktails were poured.       

Alfred Martinez, Anne Stuart, Tuck Ernst, James Prothro 

Opening the doors to the ballroom revealed walls lit in rich turquoise in an elegant setting featuring tables draped in black satin topped with white orchids floating in tall vases and on some tables, tall calla lilies filling the vases.

Introducing auctioneer Wendy Lambert and her team, JD encouraged bidding as supporters competed in a rousing live auction featuring items such as a stunning diamond halo link bracelet, a six-course tasting menu for eight by Chef Darren McGrady, a rare double vertical wine collection, Montana vacation for two, Belize for four and a website production package.   

Emphasizing the reality of ongoing efforts, a video put a spotlight on the Turtle Creek Association’s constant challenge of leading the effort that is manually removing 2.5 tons or 5,000 lbs. of trash quarterly while working on designing a permanent solution.  A comprehensive plan is in place, but the Association needs help from the community to protect and preserve this natural habitat for future generations.       

Though known for its beauty, Turtle Creek is an 8.83 square mile catch basin for various contributory streams and storm pipes.  A large volume of the city’s stormwater drains into Turtle Creek. Every time it rains, the creek fills with trash and debris, choking it and endangering wildlife.  The rushing waters erode the banks. A storm in 2022 caused dozens of trees to fall into the waterway when the banks couldn’t contain the water.       

David Walthall, Elyce Walthall, Christopher Walthall 

A paddle raise and call for contributions preceded a delicious gourmet three-course dinner.      

Presenting Teresa with a lovely gift, JD thanked her for her energy supporting the Turtle Creek Association and help as honorary chair of this year’s gala. He also presented Kyle and Ani with gifts thanking them for their support for the second year in a row as sponsors and honorary chairs.  Heartfelt thanks was given to Lyda Hill Philanthropies for stepping up to the plate as Diamond Sponsor and special recognition was given to Sharon for her help and support.    

After presentations, JD spoke to the crowd saying, “I stand before you tonight with a heart full of gratitude for your unwavering support. It is a testament to the power of unity. You are the heart of Turtle Creek Association and I thank you.”  He continued saying, “The Tour of Homes includes remarkable homes that stand as testaments to architectural excellence in the heart of the Turtle Creek Corridor. We thank the gracious homeowners who have opened their doors for our Tour of Homes, allowing us to showcase the distinctive charm and innovation that defines this remarkable community.”

Dee Genova, Board Chair; JD Trueblood, President and CEO, TCA; Paul Ridley, City Councilman

Taking the stage, Paul Ridley, City Councilman, thanked JD for his tremendous leadership and both JD and Dee for working to preserve and enhance the Turtle Creek corridor. Reading an excerpt from the City of Dallas Special Recognition saying in part, “The Turtle Creek Association has been dedicated to being the primary guardian, advocate and champion that leads in the preservation, protection and enhancement of Turtle Creek since 1985,” and signed by Eric Johnson, Mayor of The City of Dallas.

Mari Epperson, Karisti Julia, Bart and Jolie Humphrey

The party continued into the night with dancing to the ever popular and dynamic Emerald City’s Limelight Band.

To learn more about the Turtle Creek Association, visit the website at 

About Turtle Creek Association

The annual Gala is a key fundraising event benefiting the Turtle Creek Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  TCA’s core mission is to serve as the foremost guardian, advocate, and leader dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the Turtle Creek corridor.

Furthermore, the Turtle Creek Association takes on a range of vital responsibilities.  This includes orchestrating seasonal color transformations along the creek, managing irrigation and watering systems, overseeing litter and trash removal from the creek, and upkeeping 25 beautifully landscaped medians. We play a crucial role in sustaining 2,600 trees that offer a haven for wildlife, and we’re instrumental in providing essential amenities such as drinking fountains, trash receptacles, and benches throughout the parks. Remarkably, all of these efforts are achieved through the generosity of our donors.

For more information and to join our cause, please visit our website at Your support fuels our commitment to preserving the urban sanctuary that is Turtle Creek.  

*Photos by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Turtle Creek Association and its fundraising events.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.