The Sumter Item wins national award for community engagement


The Sumter Item is the best small-market media company in the country at building community through contests and promotions, a prominent industry platform announced this month.

The Item was named "Best Small Market Program" in the 14th-annual Second Street Awards for work done in 2022, an awards program honoring the best of its more than 4,000 local media partners.

Featuring contests like Best of Sumter, Best of Clarendon, Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week and Morris College High School Teacher of the Month, The Item has used interactive programs to build and engage its audience.

"We've added different programs over the last few years, and our community always embraces the celebration," Publisher Vince Johnson said. "One of our favorite parts about having our large local audience is that we can shine a spotlight on those doing amazing things in our community. We plan to do even more in the future."

More programs are in the works. The Bobbys, a local version of ESPN's The Espy Awards and named after Yankees legend and Sumter native Bobby Richardson, is set for June 15 at the Sumter Opera House, with voting in more than 12 categories starting in May.

"What's really made this successful is Sumter's business community and their willingness to connect their businesses to these programs," Johnson said. "It's a win for Sumter when we build up Sumter together."

Want to be involved in The Bobbys?

At least seven local businesses have already signed on to present an award and scholarship to a high school athlete winner at The Bobbys. To have your business included in the premiere event, email your Item representative or