A Beautiful Send-Off – Retirement Party of Dolores Ellerker

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Thank you to everyone who attended the retirement party of our soon-to-be retiring CEO, Dolores Ellerker.  Held at the St. George’s Golf & Country Club, it was a beautiful location to hold such a special occasion and the perfect place to celebrate the legacy of our outgoing CEO. 

Dolores has been an innovative and committed leader in the community support services sector since the early 1970s.  She has advocated for and led the implementation of programs and services in the community that focus on key values: dignity, compassion and independence. 

After working for over a dozen years with Toronto Association for Community Living, Dolores joined Humbervale Day Centre in 1985.  At the time, the organization offered a day program for seniors in central Etobicoke 3 days a week.  It operated on a $45,000 budget with 3 part-time staff.  With her experience in both the clinical and social aspects of community service, Dolores transformed this small day program into a vital multi-million dollar community agency – now called ESS Support Services – with the mission of supporting seniors in their desire to remain in their own homes and community.  Each year, over 2,000 seniors access the services offered at ESS including transportation, day programs, in-home respite and health and wellness programs. In 1999, Dolores realized the first 24 / 7 award-winning “Caring Centre” with a second Transitional Care Centre now operational. In 2010, Dolores lead the agency to receive full accreditation from Accreditation Canada – an external review process that reconfirmed the high quality standards of care found within and throughout ESS Support Services.  A true visionary, Dolores has placed ESS Support Services in the forefront with numerous prestigious awards and accolades for innovative programming, service and fundraising.  Her hard work and determination has built and redesigned senior care – providing compassionate care and support for seniors (and their families) who wish to remain living within their own homes.

Under Dolores’ leadership and passion, ESS has grown to meet the needs of our community members and has established and nurtured key relationships. With her guidance and direction, ESS is thought of as a respected leader and innovative agency within the community support sector. In recognition of her impact, she was the recipient of a Community Recognition Award presented by Yvan Baker, MPP and was profiled in snapd Etobicoke’s International Women’s Month issue highlighting activities of influential women making a difference in our community.

It is also crucial to highlight that Dolores applies the key values of dignity, compassion and independence not only to client programming but also to staff relations and partnerships.  For Dolores, the motto’s “family comes first” and “you must take care of yourself first before helping others” go beyond simple words – they are the foundation on which she leads her team.  She is always the first person to join a celebration and also the first to offer a supportive hug and listening ear when things don’t go as well as planned.  She prefers a decision over no decision – even if the decision is the ‘wrong one’ and will stand by with you through the end.  She is patient and encouraging, always is smiling and ready for a joke, and when she says ‘her door is always open’, she means it.

Thank you once again to everyone who helped celebrate Dolores in person at her party and to those who have written or called in to pass along their best wishes. Please enjoy the below photos from her party.

Thank you to everyone who made a contribution towards a gift for Dolores. Your generous contribution went towards the purchase of plane tickets for a much deserved retirement vacation.

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