Lunar eclipse yoga session kickstarts defib fundraising campaign

August 6, 2018

 Plans to have a life-saving defibrillator device to service the remote communities of Anamar and Kiltybane are a step closer thanks to the efforts of a young businesswoman from the area who has embarked on a fundraising initiative to purchase the equipment.

On Friday 27th August, Sarah Armstrong, proprietor of Strong Fitness, held a Yoga and Meditation event, the first of her three planned fundraisers aimed at raising enough money to buy and install a defibrillator, which, in the event of an emergency, will be invaluable to people who live in the isolated townlands, as well as clients who attend her fitness studio.

The Yoga and Meditation session, held at Kiltybane Lake, was organised to coincide with the Blood Moon – the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.  More than 70 people took advantage of the unique opportunity, which was led by instructor Paddy Doran of ‘Yoga with Paddy’, Newry.  The hour-long class took place by candlelight, the backdrop of sound baths added to the calming ambiance of the lake’s surroundings. 

The event was also supported by the Crossmaglen First Responders Group, representatives of which attended and delivered an informative introduction to the session.   

A total of £900 was raised and represents an excellent start to the ongoing campaign to fund a defibrillator.

Thanking those who supported the event and made it such a success, Sarah said afterwards: “I was so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the local community and beyond – it speaks volumes for the need for this device and the community spirit which this area continuously shows in times of charitable causes. I cannot thank everyone enough especially those who collaborated to make it happen – to everyone who attended, took part and donated and to those who couldn’t make it but made a contribution regardless.” 

Local resident Maria Caraher, who took part in the session, praised the initiative: “What an amazing evening having a yoga session with about 70 others beside the beautiful Kiltybane Lake. There was a little rain but this actually added to the experience. We didn’t get a glimpse of the [blood] moon but it was so peaceful looking at the gorgeous surroundings as darkness fell. A beautiful evening to share with so many great people,” she said. 

The other planned fundraising events are a Spinathon and a Children’s Tractor Run, both of which will take place later this month.   In the meantime, if any individual or business would like to contribute or make a donation to the defibrillator campaign, Sarah can be contacted on on 07769994856 or email 

More information on upcoming events will be made available via the Strong Fitness page on Facebook.