Local woman in desperate need of ‘me time’ gifted birthday trip by a stranger


RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s an unlikely place for a random act of kindness—a Facebook group. A Rensselaer County woman, who has been down on her luck, received a surprise birthday trip from a group of strangers.

Tim Walton and Carly Clark started the Facebook group—518 Great—a little over a year ago, hoping to spread positivity across the Capital Region. Tracy Lupe reached out to Walton a few months ago when she was in desperate need of a friend. Tracy is a caretaker for her mother full time and has struggled to get by after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy two times.

“We knew that she needed a break. What better than going to Lake George, by Lakeside, and having a hotel room to yourself. Just relax and just chill,” Walton said.

Walton and the Facebook group banded together to raise money to send Tracy on a two-day trip to Lake George while her mother is being cared for by a neighbor.

“It means a lot just to get a little break; people actually care. Don’t give up hope. Just pray that something good will come your way,” Lupe said. “And if something good comes your way? Just give back. Because when I get right, I want to give something back to someone else that needs it.”

Lupe told News10’s Stephanie Rivas that she’s never dipped her toes in the sand before, but she will be headed straight to the hotel’s private beach as soon as she gets to Lake George. She added that 518 Great and her birthday surprise has made her realize she’s not alone.

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