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For 30 Years, Helping Needy Children Smile

November 11, 2018 GMT

“We’ve got a great community in Greater Lowell that comes together every year without fail,” Roberts said. “This will be a great celebration Tuesday, and then the real work begins.”

Tickets for the 30th anniversary event will also be available at the door. Tickets are $100 per person.

“We’re honored to be able to be a part of making a difference in the lives of families in Greater Lowell,” Roberts said.

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The Sun and Lowell Sun Charities have a proud history of serving the Greater Lowell community. Lowell Sun Charities was established in 1947 with a basic mission to support local charitable causes. Three decades ago, Lowell Sun Charities identified another need: Many local families were struggling to provide Christmas gifts for their children and put a holiday meal on their table. From that need, The Sun Santa Fund was founded, and is now celebrating its 30th anniversary.

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Sun Santa provides assistance to local families in the 23 communities served by The Sun. The Salvation Army and Community Teamwork process applications and distribute gift and food vouchers to the families. Toy vouchers are redeemable at Rogers Toy in downtown Lowell and Kmart in Billerica. Food vouchers are accepted at Hannaford supermarkets in Dracut, Lowell and Chelmsford and all Market Basket stores.

The Sun Santa Fund -- through the generosity of the local community -- raises the funds to directly support this voucher system that provides families the means to experience a joyful holiday. Thanks to our major partner, Lowell General Hospital, local businesses, public officials, neighborhood social clubs, schoolchildren and hundreds of individual donors, we have always met our goal. Every family who requests Sun Santa’s help receives it.

All donations help and are recorded by the newspaper. Brief messages are welcome.

Donation canisters, stickers and buttons are available for businesses who would like to help. Businesses donating $500 or more are welcome to submit a digital photo that will be printed in The Sun as space is available.

Teachers are encouraged to hold “penny drives” in their buildings or classrooms to involve children in Sun Santa.

Secure online donations can be made at www.lowellsun.com/sunsanta , or by mail to The Sun Santa Fund, 491 Dutton St. Lowell, MA 01854.

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Mark your calendar for the following events to benefit The Sun Santa Fund.

* Saturday, Nov. 24: The duo Zephyr (Sun Managing Editor Kris Pisarik and Paul Censullo) perform from 1-4 p.m. at The Athenian Corner, 207 Market St. to raise money for Sun Santa.

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Also, watch for Sun Santa’s elves from Lowell High School, who will be passing out treats along the City of Lights parade starting at 4:30 p.m.

* The annual Lowell General Hospital theme basket raffle begins on Tuesday, Nov. 27 with online sales.

Baskets will be on display at the main campus, 295 Varnum Ave., Clark Auditorium. Ticket sales dates and times are:

* Wednesday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Friday, Dec. 7, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Monday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Tuesday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Wednesday, Dec. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Winners will be drawn on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. in Clark Auditorium. The public is welcome.

* Friday, Nov. 30: Former state Sen. Steve Panagiotakos holds his annual Sun Santa Christmas Party at the Blue Shamrock, 155 Market St., Lowell. The party begins at 6 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy for the It’s All About the Kids Foundation.

* Thursday, Dec. 6: State Rep. Jim Arciero hosts his annual Sun Santa/Toys for Tots fundraiser at the Franco American Club, 55 W. Prescott St., Westford. The event begins at 6 p.m.

* Saturday, Dec. 8: The Patriot Dart League holds its annual one-day charity tournament to assist Sun Santa, at the Knickerbocker Club, 36 Chamberlain St., Lowell. The event starts at 1 p.m.

* Sunday, Dec. 16: The Polish American Veterans of Lowell, Inc. and Ladies Auxiliary present their annual Sun Santa Family Christmas Party at Dom Polski Club, 10 Coburn St., Lowell. $5 requested donation (children under age 12 free)

For more information on Sun Santa, visit www.lowellsun.com/sunsanta .

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.