The APEX Gymnastics teams and families participated in the Western Loudoun Relay for Life at Heritage High School in Leesburg, Va., on June 1. APEX raised more than $36,000 for the event by doing various fundraisers, such as giving away a free year of gymnastics, holding open gyms, team fundraisers and soliciting donations from family and friends. APEX was recognized for both having the largest team contingent with 142 team members and reaching the Topaz level of fundraising, which very few teams ever reach. At the event, Western Loudoun Relay honored APEX co-owner Marty Newsom, who passed away June 2012 and was an integral part of the relay committee for the past four years.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for us to give back to our community and to show everyone what APEX is all about,” said APEX owner Melanie Cuozzo. “We are so grateful to have families in our program who value experiences like these for their children just as much, or maybe more, than a single gymnastics competition. This event touches all of us in some way, and some of us more than others. And it is important to us that we can all stand together for one day and show our children that there are things in life that are simply bigger and more important.”

This event is the culmination of months of activity in preparing a campsite and raising funds. The event began at 1 p.m. on Saturday and lasted through the night into the morning hours. Team members camped out overnight at their campsites to symbolize the cycle that a cancer patient lives through, experiencing dark times and moments of sunshine and hope. More than 60 teams participated this year. APEX plans to return to the Relay next year, bigger and better than ever.