Joint letter of understanding and peace released by Nicola Pizza and upset family.
This joint statement from Nicola Pizza and the grandmother of the young disabled baby points to a new peace after a viral internet explosion earlier this week. The letter is wonderful and speaks for itself.
“NICOLA REACHES OUT – FAMILY RECONSIDERS INCIDENT”
This public letter is written to all those concerned people (and press) who have read and responded to a recent story regarding Nicola Pizza and Matt Brown and Hannah Reese. This story has been on Facebook, our respective websites, online, in print and on television. The purpose of this letter is to clarify some of the issues that evolved from the story in the shared hopes to help heal a community that has been divided by this painful situation. It is being co-written by Kelly Munyan and Nick Caggiano, Jr and Susan Hamadock, Hannah's grandmother.
Our intention is not to dwell on the specifics of the event on August 4th but to express our shared interest in unification. We understand that all parties could have handled this situation differently and that there were mistakes and misunderstandings made by everyone that evening. The Brown family is dealing with the painful diagnosis of SMA type 1 in their infant child. We support the Brown family as they face this terrible diagnosis and encourage readers to familiarize yourselves with this life threatening illness. We also support the young hostess who intended no harm that evening and who we applaud for having the drive to work a summer job in an environment that can be very stressful.
Susan Hamadock, Colton's great grandmother, posted the original Facebook post with no intentions of it going viral and getting so out of control. "I feel somewhat responsible for this, because when I made my original post I thought it would go to my small group of private Facebook friends. I was wrong and my ignorance of Facebook led to a hail storm of hate. I thought I had a private setting, but I was wrong." No one who was directly involved in this incident initiated contact with the press, however the story has been represented and misrepresented on a national and international level! All members of both families as well as staff from Nicola Pizza have received hate mail, threats and have been victims of cyber bullying. The hate has been very hard and painful for all of us.
Again we are coming together to reiterate that the Brown family is not promoting a boycott of Nicola Pizza and that they have no intention of suing the restaurant. The Caggiano family has reached out with a heartfelt apology, with sensitivity to the ADA (which they have always had), with the intention to protect the young hostess and to encourage all people to come to the restaurant.
We also would like to say that the support also have been tremendous. There have been many reasonable people expressing their support for each side. Nicola Pizza would like to thank our amazing local friends and customers who know our family and know that we would never discriminate against any individual for any reason but especially anyone because of a disability. The Brown family also thanks those expressing support for the right and needs to accessibility for the handicapped. Collectively we appreciate the support as it was the only thing that could help all of us see through the hate this past week.
Mistakes and misunderstandings are going to occur throughout life and sometimes they can be painful. But it is the honor, wisdom and strength of those involved to reach beyond the differences and to find solutions. This has been a very difficult time for all of us but all the people involved are good, caring, responsible people who are coming together in the hopes of healing.
Nick Jr, Kelly and Susan"
Posted at 11:31am on August 11, 2015 by Dan Gaffney