The Sun was founded in 1878 by John H. Harrington and his newspaper was to be the voice for Irish Catholic Democrats.

He had one daughter, Mary Harrington, who married a man named Costello, who was a major plumbing contractor in the rapidly growing city of Lowell. Her husband died at a young age, leaving her to raise three young boys.

Her sons Thomas, John and Clement joined the family business, but Mary Costello was involved for many years and felt The Sun should be a major supporter of community causes and families in need.

She privately took on many personal cases when she heard of a family who needed help with medical bills or basic needs.

When The Sun got the franchise to run the Golden Gloves in New England, the company created Lowell Sun Charities to begin a formal structure in helping individuals and community causes.

All the net proceeds were deposited to Sun Charities and distributed to community groups.

Between Sun Charities and The Sun Santa Fund, we estimate that $14 million has been donated.

The fourth generation of the Costello family continued the tradition of Sun Charities until they sold the newspaper and charities has continued under the MediaNews Group ownership.

Last year alone, Sun Charities donated to 65 community organizations and helped hundreds of families enjoy the Christmas holidays.

Lowell has a strong history of companies giving back and The Sun is proud to join with folks like Enterprise Bank, Lowell General Hospital, Trinity EMS, The Lowell Five, Watermark, the Demoulas Foundation, Anton Cleaners, the Behrakis Foundation, Eastern Bank, the O’Connors, McCallums, Pride Star, Washington Savings and so many others who continue to make good things happen.

The Gloves have been a winter tradition in Lowell for 70 years. We all owe a lot to loyal fight fans who for decades have come out in freezing weather, some times in snow storms, to enjoy some good boxing and raise a lot of money for charity.

Several local businesses are helping to boost the Gloves this 70th anniversary year, by being a “Sponsor for the Night”. Some of the sponsors will be linked to a charity and the sponsor and the charity will have tickets for 100 fans to attend the Gloves.

Some of the agencies supported by Sun Charities this year include: Boys and Girls Club of Billerica, Lowell High School scholarship fund, Chelmsford July 4 parade committee, Lowell Festival Foundation, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Lowell General Cancer Care Walk, Lowell Community Charter School, Community Teamwork, Lowell Catholic High School, Caring Partners Inc., Grotonfest, Lowell Humane Society, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, the Lowell Plan, The Paul Center, Women Working Wonders Fund, March of Dimes.

Also, Ironstone Farm, Middlesex Community College Foundation, Salvation Army, House of Hope, LGH Auxiliary, UMass Lowell, LHS Distinguished Alumni, Special Olympics, Middlesex 3 coalition, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, St. Patrick’s School, Lowell Community Health Center, Greater Lowell Family YMCA, the American Textile Museum, Girls Inc., Chelmsford High School, Open Pantry, Dracut Scholarship Foundation, We Share a Common Thread.

Also, Westford Charitable Foundation, Catie’s Closet, Central Food Ministry, the MRT, Lowell Historical Society, Pollard Memorial Library, United Teen Equality Center, Lowell Latin Lyceum, Immaculate Conception church, Lowell Summer Music Series, Whistler House, Renaissance Club, New England Quilt Museum and Table of Plenty.