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BUZZ celebrates 50th Episode! 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ celebrates 50th Episode!

As originally broadcast July 17, 2024, on Blue Ridge PBS …

Celebrate a milestone with us as we present our 50th episode of BUZZ on PBS!

Launched in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, BUZZ features the great work of mostly Southwest Virginia nonprofits, and the marketing professionals affiliated with the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke who donate their time and talent to help these life-giving organizations attract more people to their cause.

“I’ve always loved nonprofits because they literally do everything,” said BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill. “They help the hungry and homeless, they teach kids how to dance and sing, they shelter and care for animals, and provide therapies for people of all disabilities. But whether from lack of money, talent or time, nonprofits often don’t do a good job generating the ‘buzz’ they need to thrive. It has been an honor to highlight – and help – dozens of nonprofits through our show.”

This one-hour 50th episode of BUZZ features special moments from the show’s first five years including Healing Strides of Virginia, Southwest Virginia Ballet, Eastmont Community Foundation, Christiansburg Institute, Tudor House, The Least of These homeless ministry, the six-part “Art in Roanoke” series in partnership with the Roanoke Cultural Endowment, and Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley.

In December 2023 BUZZ expanded to Hemphill’s hometown of Birmingham, Ala., and featured Children of Slain Police Officers, Studio by the Tracks, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, and Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank.

BUZZ is currently producing new episodes for Blue Ridge PBS and Alabama Public Television that will air later this year. More information at

Buzzing in California! 900 416 Michael Hemphill

Buzzing in California!

BUZZ is now on in California!

Carol Jessee, former executive director of Southwest Virginia Ballet, which we featured in our first episode in 2020, texted us: “Just got a note from a friend who lives in LA saying he turned his TV on and there I was! The ballet Buzz4good was on!!! WOW! Congrats!”

Turns out KVCR Public Media in San Bernardino picked up our show off of the NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) platform and is airing it Sundays at 4:30 pm Pacific.

Thank you Blue Ridge PBS for offering BUZZ to public television across the U.S. Now audiences everywhere can see firsthand what a caring and beautiful region is our beloved Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

We’re buzzing in Cali!

Top 10 BUZZ of 2023 900 432 Michael Hemphill

Top 10 BUZZ of 2023

Thank you for buzzing with us this year!

We hope you enjoy this highlight reel of our Top 10 buzz-worthy moments of 2023 … and look forward to highlighting and helping even more nonprofits in 2024!

No. 10: The Y is more than a workout as we showed in our episode starring YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. See the stories of some at-risk teens served by “Rise 540.” Watch full episode

No. 9: Nonprofits literally do everything – from homeless shelters and children’s art programs to organizations like the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program that helps entrepreneurs design cutting-edge drugs and patent portable optical laser cutters. Watch full episode.

No. 8: The Roanoke City Public Schools arts program teaches kids how to dance, sing, paint, sculpt, play a stringed instrument, march in the band, produce digital music … and recycling and turtle-stacking? Watch full episode

 No. 7: How excited was the Community Foundation of the New River Valley when it soared past its goal for the 10th annual GiveLocalNRV? Watch full episode.

 No. 6: With its scenic waterfalls, hiking trails, gurgling streams and star-gazing skies, Alta Mons pulses with divinity for the thousands of people who retreat each year at the 800-acre eastern Montgomery County camp. But its human heart beats within one man: Jim Pearman. Watch full episode.

 No. 5: We buzzed at the chance to talk to Virginia Tech’s Liz Kitley, Kenny Brooks and Brent Pry for our episode starring The Hokie Way, which helps VT athletes use their Name, Image and Likeness to promote local nonprofits. One of those nonprofits is the Lifering Foundation, founded by Kelly Woolwine amidst incredible suffering. Watch full episode.

 No. 4: We’re fortunate to have Dan Mirolli in our hive as our cinematographer. His work really buzzes in our episode featuring The Least of These homeless ministry at night. Watch full episode

 No. 3: How proud is Norma Mondragon’s mother for the life she has built thanks to Literacy Volunteers of the New River ValleyWatch full episode.

 No. 2: BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill returns to his hometown of Birmingham where he connects with old friends and his alma mater to produce episodes on four impactful nonprofits that began airing in December on Alabama Public Television.

 No. 1: In our most viewed video of 2023, musicians Bryan “Harvest Blaque” Hancock and J.P. Powell – joined by Roanoke Symphony maestro David Stewart Wiley, Opera Roanoke’s Brooke Tolley, Roanoke Cultural Endowment’s Shaleen Powell, and the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir – provide the artistic beat for what makes Roanoke, Virginia, a great place for business. Watch full episode.

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BUZZ kicks off Season 4 featuring The Hokie Way 749 299 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ kicks off Season 4 featuring The Hokie Way

News Release

September 25, 2023 (Roanoke, Va.) – Virginia Tech star basketball players Elizabeth Kitley and Sean Pedulla – along with Hokies football coach Brent Pry and women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks – are featured in the Season 4 premier of BUZZ on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. on Blue Ridge PBS.

Airing every Wednesday, BUZZ features the great work of nonprofit organizations in Southwest Virginia, and the marketing professionals affiliated with the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke who donate their time and talent helping charities attract more people to their cause.

The Season 4 premier – the 36th episode of BUZZ – stars The Hokie Way, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for Virginia Tech student-athletes to leverage their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) in support of other charitable causes, such as Feeding Southwest Virginia, LifeRing Foundation, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia. 

“Since launching in 2020, we’ve been fortunate to feature nearly 50 organizations that represent the breadth and depth of charitable work in our communities: arts and culture, homelessness, literacy, outdoors recreation, suicide prevention, intellectual disabilities, and now college athletics,” said Michael Hemphill, BUZZ creator and host. “Our communities are strong because of nonprofits. We’re honored to share their missions on public television throughout Virginia and provide them with valuable marketing resources to help them create more buzz.” 

Other Season 4 BUZZ episodes in development are Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd County; RAMP (Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program); and Arts Connect Neighbors in Roanoke.

All BUZZ episodes are available on demand at Hemphill also hosts the weekly radio show Buzz4Good! – interviewing nonprofit leaders throughout Southwest Virginia – on Saturdays at 4 p.m. on WFIR. Previous episodes are available on

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Michael Hemphill | Creator of Buzz4Good | | 540.556.2879
@buzz4good on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn

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NEWS RELEASE – Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ 749 299 Michael Hemphill

NEWS RELEASE – Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ


Watch Party on March 29 celebrates 30th Episode of BUZZ

March 15, 2023 (Roanoke, Va.) – The Southwest Virginia-based television show BUZZ, featuring nonprofits receiving pro bono marketing resources, will premier its 30th episode on March 29 on Blue Ridge PBS.

A free community Watch Party will be held at the Grandin Theatre for the episode, which stars the Roanoke homeless ministry, The Least of These. Wheeler Digital is donating the marketing “buzz” in the show. Funding for this episode is provided by the Louise R. Lester Foundation.

“We remain honored that so many incredible marketing agencies throughout Virginia have been willing to give their time and talent to help our nonprofit community,” said Michael Hemphill, creator and host of BUZZ. “In turn, these life-giving organizations are able to attract more donors and volunteers to their cause so they can better fulfill their missions.”

BUZZ is produced in partnership with the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke.

Launched in 2020 during the pandemic, BUZZ has featured dozens of nonprofits across the Commonwealth on its 30 episodes, spanning a range of causes from Arts & Culture (Southwest Virginia Ballet, Roanoke Arts Pop); Social Services (R.A.M. House, Feeding Southwest Virginia); Healthcare (Children’s Assistive Technology Service, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia); Environment (FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge); and Children and Families (West End Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia).

Episodes currently under development include Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley; YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge; Art & Economic Development in Roanoke, Va.; The Hokie Way; and Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

Virginia is home to hundreds of nonprofits – from homeless shelters and food banks to children’s choirs and art museums. As skilled as these organizations are in fulfilling their missions, they often lack the time, expertise, personnel or bandwidth to properly promote themselves. This lack of good marketing – this shortage of buzz, if you will – limits their ability to further their cause.

All episodes of BUZZ are available on demand at In fall 2021, Hemphill added a weekly radio show, Buzz4Good, airing Saturdays 4 p.m. on WFIR (also available on that interviews nonprofit leaders throughout Southwest Virginia. 


Michael Hemphill, Creator of BUZZ
540.556.2879 |