Fantastic fundraiser Julie Reay was full of emotion after learning she was in the running for an Echo honour.
The Sunderland mum has been nominated for a Best of Wearside Award for her sheer dedication to charity which has seen her raise £150,000 in ten years.
Julie has done all of her hard work in memory of her son Peter, 13, who died in a tragic rope swing accident in Galley’s Gill in 2002.
As she spoke to the Echo, tearful Julie said: “This is totally unexpected.
“The main thing was to keep Peter’s name and memory alive and that is what this has done.
“Just to be nominated is great enough for me.
“It is the very fact that I have represented the people of Sunderland.
“I am overwhelmed.
“I have touched people’s lives and they have touched mine.”
But there have been other benefits as well for Julie.
“I have met a great circle of friends who have come into my life through this fundraising,” she said.
It’s been quite a year for Julie who also reached the national Pride of Britain awards finals for her charity support.
The Barnes mum and her daughter Vicky Bond, 32, met the likes of David Beckham, Little Mix, Joey Essex, Peter Andre, Piers Morgan and Duncan Bannatyne at the awards ceremony.
It has all stemmed from her fundraising which Julie began when she channelled her grief to help others and set up the Peter David Lane Trust Fund.
Just some of those to benefit from Julie’s dedication over the years are Southwick Primary School who were presented with a Sunshine Coach, RNLI, Great North Air Ambulance, Teenage Cancer Trust North East, Wearside Women in Need and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Julie joins an impressive list of entries for the awards but we want even more.
This year, the competition is being held in association with Vantec Europe Ltd.
“To help us in our quest, we have also been backed by some fantastic category sponsors. They are Calsonic, Gentoo, Martinos, TWR and UK Asbestos and we thank them all for their fantastic backing.
•Visit http://www.jpne-events.co.uk/best-of-wearside/ to make your nominations