Shamrock Shuffle, “”Thank you”” Companions on a Journey Team

March 5, 2017 BY Tom Kanoza

Companions on a Journey would like to thank all those who participated in the 

11th Annual Shamrock Shuffle held Saturday March 18, 2017


The event was a bit chilly, but we had a lot of COJ’ers and many others visit our booth.


May the Luck of the Irish be with You!

Thank YOU!

www.companionsonajourney.org    513-870-9108

2016 “All Star Gala” Was a Fabulous Evening

November 17, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza
Companions on a Journey (COJ) held its All Star Gala November 12th, at the Downtown Regency Hotel. COJ held its fabulous Gala Nov 12th. Participants were treated to a wonderful meal with host Frank Marzullo AMS FOX19 Weekday Morning News AMS Meteorologist / Host FOX19 News Morning Xtra. Fun and Game was the rave, and the hope, strength, and healing award went to Theresa Correa and Pam Deshler, Skip Phelps of the Gwen Mooney Funeral Home -The Spring Grove Family. Later in the evening participants dance the night away to the popular REMAINS Band. You can still donate to the Gala Fund by clicking the donate button.

COJ celebrated 19 years of successful growth and bestowed an inspirational vision for our future. COJ raised awareness for those who most need our support, grieving teens and children. On Thursday, November 17th is Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

This year, the COJ organization is assisting 31 schools by working with 450 students each month; following the students through their graduation. In the year prior, COJ assisted over 4,000 bereaved children, teens and adults throughout the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area without state or federal funding. COJ does not charge for its service.

Hope, Strength and Healing Retreat

September 28, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

Thanks to all who joined us on October 15 for our one-day retreat:  Hope, Strength and Healing through Grief :  A Day for Grieving Persons.   

COJ’s All Star Gala, Nov 12th

August 15, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

Celebrating 19 years of successful growth, COJ will hold its “All Star Gala” November 12th, at the Cincinnati Regency Hotel. Doors will open at 6:00 PM for Cocktails, Dinner, Live Auction, Dancing and Music by: The Remains. Black tie option.             Emcee — FOX 19 personality Frank Marzullo

The Gala is to benefit:Save the date picture
Assisting 450+ students in 30+ schools.
Supporting grieving adults and families
Honoring Child Grief Awareness Day

Most important, COJ wants to give praise to the “All Stars of our Lives”, memorializing those who are not able to be with us here, and applauding those who help propel us forward in the wake of a loss. COJ wants to raise awareness for those who most need our support, grieving teens and children.

COJ’s laudatory programs continue to create the necessary balance for all children and teens suffering the loss of a loved one. We know our programs work. Sustainability and Consistency are key to our programs successes.

Many ways you can support our Gala

By becoming a sponsor for the “All Star Gala”, you will allow us to continue offering ongoing grief support that works with the bereaved day one, or year one, or year five, through graduation, after a crisis, and as a companion for as long as a person needs our support.



As West Chester and Liberty Township continues to grow we see the need for grief support in our community. As the area becomes the new corridor for hospitals and medical facilities the need for grief support will continue to grow.

Many Thanks to our Wonderful Volunteers

August 15, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

APPRECIATION5COJ’s appreciation event was held at Un-Wind in Hyde Park, Cincinnati, on June 20th to celebrate individuals and volunteers helping children, teens, adults and families who grieve in our community.  Volunteers, staff, and directors were present for an evening of food, prizes, presentations, and gifts for all the hard work accomplished over the past year.

From facilitating groups, helping with events, managing the day to day chores, mailings, calling, fixing, and just being present to those who grieve is a gift in itself is such a generous gift. COJ wants to thank all of you for your time and talent and countless hours you put in to help us be successful.

Because You’re SpecialAPPRECIATION4

We sometimes take for granted
In the rush of all we do,
And forget to say a special thanks
To volunteers like you!
So we send this note to tell you
How much all you do means,
Your gifts of time and of yourself

Are special ones indeed.




COJ’s 2nd Annual Golf Outing Complete Success

July 18, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

113 golfers showed up to the COJ’s 2nd Annual Golf Outing Friday, Aug 12th in what turned out to be a very beautiful day for a round of 18.  Glenview Golf Course was selected for the event this year.

Golfers competed for prizes; Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin (2), Longest Putt. There were Gift Baskets, Silent Auctions and of course the lowest scramble score. The winners received a $500.00 gift certificate to Jeff Ruby’s restaurant

When it was all done, golfers were treated to a wonder dinner donated from ELI’S BBQ.

Companions on a Journey would like to thank our volunteers from Pro-link staffing, the COJ Board along with our corporate and individual hole sponsors! American Inspection and Repair, Chemo-Unity LLC, Eckstein Roofing, Fidelity Charitable, General Electric, ICare Consulting Group, Keith Scott / Lexmark, Kenwood CC Men’s Grill ,Mike and Linda Green, Brisben Foundation, ProLink Staffing, Riverpoint, Capital Management, Saundra’s Kitchen, Thomas and Lisa Butt, US Logistics

Companions on a Journey would like to thank our volunteers from Pro-link staffing and the COJ Board along with our corporate and individual hole sponsors!

Students from Moeller HS, Cincinnati, OH Contribute to Our Children and Teens-In-Grief Program.

May 6, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

COJ has received Moeller’s Magnified Giving grant for $1,000.

Our program is offered at various area high schools. We see 15-25 students per school participating this year. Our goal is to create a safe environment where teens can come to share their feelings and emotions. The service we provide helps teens to know they are not alone. It will help them to understand many aspects of grief, validate their feelings and find hope and meaning in their grief.

Moeller HS

Piggest Raffle Ever!

April 26, 2016 BY Tom Kanoza

COJ Thanks you for supporting Piggest Raffle! 

Companions on a Journey wishes to thank all those who ran the race, and especially we want to thank those who supported COJ through the Raffle! piggest raffle


2015 Hope, Strength and Healing Award

November 26, 2015 BY Tom Kanoza

Companions on a Journey recognized Jan Borgman, Linda Richey, and Cathy Douglas-Penn with the Strength, Hope, and Healing Award during All Star Gala held Saturday November 14th , at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel Jan, Linda, and Cathy Douglas-Penn are being recognized for their work We thank all of you for truly making a difference, and for recognizing the needs of grieving children, teens, and adults in our community.  Ultimately, assisting them during life’s crises. COJ thanks each of these incredible women for supporting Companions on a Journey.

Jan Borgman

jan borgman

  • Jan Borgman, MSW, LISW-S, FT is the Bereavement Manager for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH.  She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and a Fellow in Thanatolgy.  Jan has over 30 years of experience in providing individual, family and group counseling and support for those dealing with issues of grief and loss.
  • Jan facilitates a monthly meeting for bereavement providers in our community and provides an updated listing of bereavement support groups offered in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area on a yearly basis.  She is also the coordinator for the International Network of Bereavement Coordinators (INBC). She has facilitated a monthly bereavement
  • support group in the Mt. Washington area for the past 11 years.
  • Why do I do what I do?
  • “ I am so blessed to be able to do what I do on a daily basis.  It’s an honor to be able to work with people who are grieving the death of a loved one.  I’m amazed that so many people trust me enough to allow me to be part of their grief journey.
  • As a child and teenager, I witnessed the support that my parents provided to family members who were ill or dying.  My family has been touched deeply by the effects of cancer and heart disease and I have seen my family support and care for one another during illness and death.  I believe this is what drew me to the field of social work as a profession and to specialize in the area of death, dying and bereavement.
  • Over the years, I have been allowed to walk this journey with patients and clients, their families and loved ones as well as staff and care providers.  I have been inspired by so many dedicated and caring colleagues whom I’m proud to call them my mentors and friends.
  • I thank God each day that I have a job that I love and a ministry that hopefully provides a glimmer of hope to people who are grieving the death of a loved one.  I am truly blessed.”
Linda Richey

Linda Richey

  • Linda obtained her Bachelors in Social Work from Malone College in Canton Ohio.  After her undergraduate education, she moved to Cincinnati  to attend graduate school and received her MSW with a Specialization in Mental Health in 1989.
  • For the past eleven years she has been the Director of the Psychiatric Intake Response Center  at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Prior to CCHMC, Linda was the Clinical Director of  Queen City Case Management (QC/M) and a Clinical Coordinator at Tri-Health.  She lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and two dogs.
  • Why do I do what I do?
  • “ When  children, adolescents and families are in crisis they are at their most  vulnerable state.  To provide psychiatric assessment and support to these folks is so important.  They need to be heard, understood, informed of options and, most importantly, be told it will get better.   The mental health system is difficult to navigate.  I want to help families so they don’t have to navigate the system alone, and along the way help to improve the mental health system. ”
  • Why is the  collaborative work in postvention suicide so important ?
  •  “ There is an immediate impact to the family, peers and community when somebody dies by suicide.  Getting through  the first couple days and weeks is very difficult, but it is the next couple of months, years and anniversaries that concern me.  Death by suicide has lasting impact and for youth who already may be struggling with day to day issues.  It places them at higher risk.  I strongly believe in the work COJ is doing to provide support and a safe place for youth to be able to  express their thoughts and feelings and be assured, if necessary, help is immediately available. ”
Cathy Douglas-Penn


  • Cathy obtained her Bachelors in Sociology and Psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Later she attended The Ohio State University for postgraduate studies where she obtained her Masters of Social Work degree.  Cathy is also licensed as Independent Social Worker Supervisor. Currently, Cathy works as a Social Work
  • Coordinator for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) at the Liberty Campus.  She supervises a team of social workers and counselors who work primarily in the Liberty Emergency Department.  They provide psychiatric assessments, work with children who are brought in for abuse assessments, and support families in the trauma bay.  Cathy has thirty-eight years of Social Work experience in helping mental health patients and fifteen years managing children’s health programs.
  •  Why do I do what I do?
  • “ I want to able help kids understand different perspectives, and to give them a safe person to talk to who won’t judge their point of view. In taking the time to listen and respect what they feel, I hope to help them develop insights and see options that can help them choose a good path to follow. ”
  • What is your focus of interest in mental health?
  • “ I have presented on several topics which include mental health diagnosis of adults and children, child abuse and neglect, grief and loss, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and assessment, self-harm behaviors, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, school-based interventions, and engaging parents in treatment. ”

The All Star Gala

November 26, 2015 BY Tom Kanoza

The “All Star” Gala to help raise Children Grief Awareness which will benefit COJ in facilitating more than 279 support groups a year in 25 schools, more than 210 support groups for our 10 Adult Grief Specific Groups and bereavement trainings for our 22 volunteer facilitators each year and community. COJ assist more than 4000 individuals a year. Our work has been published and video nationally and internationally. It is amazing to see the ripple effects of God’s love. We work with 350 + bereaved children and teens a month. Meeting with them monthly in 25 schools and following them through graduation. Be a Shining Star to the Children donate NOW.