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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 “sneak peek” at our Watch Party at the Grandin Theatre on Jan. 3!

BUZZ Watch Party - Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia


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.”

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 - Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia


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’s 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 “Doc Watson at 100” 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.


25th BUZZ stars West End Center + 5Points Creative 900 503 Michael Hemphill

25th BUZZ stars West End Center + 5Points Creative

As originally broadcast Oct. 19, 2022, on Blue Ridge PBS …

In the 1970s during summers and after school, children often wandered the streets without supervision of Roanoke’s West End, a neighborhood defined by poverty and crime, vacant lots and vandalized buildings. But then a group of churches and civic groups came together to establish West End Center as a safe haven — and more importantly, hope — for the neighborhood children.​

Today, West End Center serves about 150 children each year, providing them and their families with low-cost academic enrichment, wellness programs and leadership training to become productive, responsible adults.

BUZZ partner 5Points Creative returns to provide a comprehensive marketing package to promote West End Center to a wider audience.

Funding for this episode comes from the Louise R. Lester Foundation and Freedom First Credit Union.

BUZZ nominated for Kendig Arts & Culture Award 900 524 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ nominated for Kendig Arts & Culture Award

Definitely the “who?” in this Who’s Who list of 2022 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards Nominees … but we are buzzing by this surprising honor.

Founded in 1985, the Kendig Awards is a programmatic offering between Roanoke College and Hollins University honoring:

  • Individual Artist
  • Arts and/or Cultural Organization
  • Individual or Business Arts Supporter

This year’s nominees:

  • Michael Hemphill: “a true believer in partnership, collaboration, and lifting up the arts community in Virginia’s Blue Ridge through his company Buzz4good.”
  • Seth Davis “has inspired thousands of children and teenagers with the gift of music.
  • Doug Jackson: “long-serving and faithful ally of the arts … invested in finding ways to make the arts compelling and accessible to all.”
  • Michael Mansfield: “director, actor, guest artist and designer, and teacher whose talents have been experienced by every theatre in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.”
  • Sandra Meythaler: “choreographer, dancer, and teacher who has been at the helm of Roanoke Ballet Theatre since 2007.”
  • Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir “has served the people of the Roanoke Valley for 34 years by meeting the musical needs of our young people.”

We look forward to celebrating with these exceptional artists at the awards reception Oct. 11!

New Buzz stars Saint Francis Service Dogs 900 670 Michael Hemphill

New Buzz stars Saint Francis Service Dogs

As originally broadcast Sept. 21, 2022, on Blue Ridge PBS …

For more than 150 Virginians with disabilities, dogs are not only best friends, they literally make life meaningful and possible.

Since 1996, Saint Francis Service Dogs has provided incredibly trained four-legged caregivers that assist in daily living for families confronting autism, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, brain injuries, amputations and paralysis.

Lesser known is the fact that these dogs also provide service to inmates at Bland Correctional Center who help raise and care for them through a prison puppy program. And they provide comfort and calming in facilities throughout Virginia, namely Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center.

Dog-lover and marketing maven Carrie Cousins, director of marketing at LeadPoint Digital, returns to BUZZ to help Saint Francis Service Dogs enhance its popular “Barks & Rec” fundraiser. 

Please join us in thanking these sponsors for making this episode possible: