ESS Annual General Meeting: Celebrating our 40th year

This year marks our agency’s 40th anniversary of supporting older adults and their families in our community.

ESS Support Services was established in 1983 after identifying a need for services to support seniors in Etobicoke and here we are today, 40 years later.

We have much to celebrate as we reflect on where we began and the progress we have made since we first opened our doors. In the first year of operations, our annual budget was $7,000. Today our budget of almost $6 million enables our client-centred staff and dedicated volunteers to deliver a diverse range of support services to more than 2,500 individuals in our community, allowing these seniors to age with dignity in their own homes.

Some of our highlights include our first Adult Day Program in 1984, developing a transportation program with a fleet of 8 vehicles, and more recently opening a Caring Centre on Rosemount with 8 beds offering 24-hour overnight respite care, named after our longest serving CEO, Dolores Ellerker.

Expansion of our programs could not have occurred without developing mutually beneficial partnerships and new sources of funding. We thank the Ontario Health Teams, United Way, City of Toronto, our partner agencies, our clients, donors and volunteers, without whom none of this would be possible.

On June 27th we gathered together to celebrate our 40th year at our Annual General meeting.

This was our first in-person meeting since the pandemic, and it was wonderful to gather together again.  Many of us had not seen each other in over 3 years.

At the meeting we presented our 2022-2023 annual report, highlighting the achievements made over this fiscal year.

We had the pleasure of having Dipti Purbhoo Executive Director of the Dorothy Ley Hospice as our guest speaker, who spoke about the myths and facts about hospice palliative care.

Dipti Purbhoo, Executive Director of the Dorothy Ley Hospice making a presentation to ESS Support Services annual general meeting guests Dipti Purbhoo, Executive Director of the Dorothy Ley Hospice posing with ESS Support Services CEO Alison Coke

Our Annual General Meeting also provides us with an opportunity to formally recognize the contributions and impact made by front-line staff, and community organizations who have shown their strong commitment and support to our mission.

This year our entire direct-service staff team was honoured with the Laura Kennedy Sapphire Award of Excellence.  Laura was our first Board Chair, and every year we present this award in honour of her name.  Our direct service staff continued to provide direct person-to-person services and support throughout the pandemic. Despite the potential risks, they never missed a beat. Our drivers, PSWs involved in Food Security, Assisted Living, Overnight Respite Care, Health and Wellness, Case Managers and Adult Day programming staff were all willing and committed to continuing to provide these services.

ESS Support Services direct service staff pictured together receiving the Laura Kennedy Sapphire Award of Excellence at the ESS Support Services annual general meeting

Our ESS Honour Roll Award celebrates individuals and groups who have shown great dedication and commitment in making our mission at ESS a reality in the community.  This year’s award was presented to the members of the Pints of View men’s group from St. George’s On the Hill Anglican Church. They began volunteering with ESS in April 2022, dedicating their time to supporting our Mobile Food Bank program.  Not only did they help prepare and pack over 50 food hampers each week for delivery, but they also took it upon themselves to raise funds on our behalf.  Their fundraising efforts allowed us to purchase additional tables and shelving for our food pantry, and support the operations of this program.

Members of the Pints of View men's volunteer group accepting the ESS Honour Roll Award from ESS Board Member Donna Cansfield

We also wish to thank Premier Doug Ford for sending along his best wishes in recognition of our 40th anniversary.


Thank you to all who attended and helped us celebrate 40 years of supporting our community.  We welcome you to view our photo gallery below.


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