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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 ‚ÄúRise 540.‚ÄĚ Watch full episode

No. 9: Nonprofits literally do everything ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď provide the artistic beat for what makes Roanoke, Virginia, a great place for business. Watch full episode.

BUZZ features 4 Nonprofit Video Producers 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ features 4 Nonprofit Video Producers

Tune in to Blue Ridge PBS on February 22 to watch our BUZZ that features not just eight different nonprofits, but four amazing video producers who generously donate their time and talent helping nonprofits achieve more buzz. 

  • Talent like photographer Ryan Hunt, who shared the mission of the nonprofit Compress & Shock Foundation. 
  • Or Jamie Nabers, owner of BOSS Motion Pictures, who helped the United Way of the Roanoke Valley spread the word about the importance of Covid vaccinations.
  • Bruce C. Bryan, owner of 5Points Creative, rebranded and provided buzz for the Virginia Institute of Autism.
  • And Bethany Teague, director of storytelling for Click & Pledge Foundation, who shared the stories of Renaissance Music Academy, Blacksburg Rescue Squad, Rescue Mission of Roanoke, and Salem Education Foundation.
For Black History Month watch BUZZ + Christiansburg INSTITUTE 900 675 Michael Hemphill

For Black History Month watch BUZZ + Christiansburg INSTITUTE

Black history is American history.

Nowhere is our nation’s struggle for racial equality and social justice experienced more profoundly than the 155-year legacy of Christiansburg Institute in Montgomery County, Virginia.

We challenge you to watch our special two-part BUZZ on the Christiansburg Institute for your Black History Month celebration.

BUZZ Watch Party for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ Watch Party for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia

Our newest BUZZ starring Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia airs Jan. 4 on Blue Ridge PBS, but you can get a free ‚Äúsneak peek‚ÄĚ at our Watch Party at the Grandin Theatre on Jan. 3!

BUZZ Watch Party - The Hokie Way


Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia offers a safe place to learn and grow, plus life-enhancing programs and character development experiences for hundreds of schoolchildren. 

Within its 11 sites in¬†Roanoke, Salem, Montgomery and Franklin counties, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia promotes the development of boys and girls by instilling “a¬†sense of competence, a¬†sense of usefulness, a¬†sense of belonging, and a sense of influence.‚ÄĚ

In need of a digital overhaul, Boys & Girls Clubs receives a website upgrade from BUZZ partner and marketing magician Carrie Cousins.

Funding for this BUZZ is provided by:
BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party

Join us at Parkway Brewery’s “Pints for a Purpose” on November 30 and watch the premier of our newest BUZZ starring the nonprofit FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge! $1 of every beer bought will support FRIENDS.

BUZZ Watch Party - The Hokie Way


For much of its history, FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge focused its efforts on helping the National Park Service maintain vistas and hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But in 2020 the National Park Service ended the partnership, inspiring FRIENDS to pivot and expand its mission beyond the parkway to the communities of the Blue Ridge from Waynesboro, Va., to Asheville, N.C.

That pivot includes celebrating the region‚Äôs musical heritage by hosting the¬†first-ever Blue Ridge Jamboree, an annual event with¬†multiple shows in the communities¬†where FRIENDS chapters are located. The 2022-23 Jamboree features ‚ÄúDoc Watson at 100‚ÄĚ with performances by Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood.

New to BUZZ, Big Lick Entertainment donates its time and expertise to help plan and promote the Jamboree.