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WBT/Sharon Sanders The WBT family lost one of their own last week. Sharon Sanders, who was known for her philanthropy in Charlotte and abroad, leaves behind a legacy beyond her contributions to the community. A wife, mother and friend to many was also the founder of Kids First of the Carolinas which gave millions in donations to those in need in the Queen’s City over the past four decades.

Sanders lost her battle with cancer on Thursday. She was 65.

It was 27 years ago that John Hancock first met Sanders. And since then, the famed radio host took the mission of Kids First to WBT’s audience for an outstanding result year after year.

“Together, we and many others raised millions in dollars, toys, bikes, food, and more (Not to mention the volunteer hours and services provided) for kids and people who needed a helping hand,” Hancock wrote in a Facebook post. “Sharon Sanders was the foundation from which everything that was accomplished rose. Without Sharon, it would never have happened or continued year after year! Rest in peace, Sharon.”

“Founded by Sanders in 1985, Kids First of the Carolinas has provided basic essentials throughout the year along with Christmas gifts to over 35,000 children and families in need in the greater Charlotte area,” according to the foundation’s website.

Hancock joined WBT’s Bo Thompson Morning Show on Monday to reflect on Sharon’s life and contributions to the Charlotte community. Sanders has been a regular on the airwaves of WBT over the past 20 years. Her efforts will live on through those at Kids First and WBT’s Bikes for Kids for years to come .

Sanders was survived by her husband Brett, daughter Hailey, and son Hayden. She will be missed.

Listen to John Hancock and Bo Thompson’s thoughts on the passing of Sharon Sanders below.

In memoriam: WBT remembers Sharon Sanders  was originally published on wbt.com