Turned away from studio due to disability, daughter finds friends

To The Editor:
This past April, I wrote a letter to the editors of The Stratford Star and The Milford Mirror about my daughter, who wanted to sign up for Zumba classes at a studio in a nearby town. She had gone to the grand opening of that studio, and later we were told that she could not attend classes there due to her disability.

In response to my letter to the editor, I received quite a few positive responses from other studios and instructors welcoming our daughter to take Zumba classes with them. One of these studios that contacted me was the Bagwell Academy of Martial Arts.
Sensei Herbie Bagwell e-mailed me that he and his staff read my letter and were very saddened by it. He welcomed me to bring our daughter to his studio for classes and he offered her free classes to start as well.
After meeting Herbie and his staff, we signed our daughter up for classes that same night. He was very embracing to us and our daughter, as were his staff of instructors and others at the studio.
They welcomed our daughter with open arms and were very friendly to her and to us. She began classes immediately after and has even signed up for cardio kickboxing as well. She loves going to her classes and she loves all the instructors.
She has made many friends at the studio who take classes there. She comes home each night and tells us about a new friend and/or new experience she had, and all are positive.
The Bagwell Academy Staff and Herbie made her a part of their studio/family from the get go. They friend requested her on Facebook and she looks forward to reading about all the updates that are posted on the Bagwell website and Facebook page.
Our daughter feels welcomed, loved and accepted by a group of people who reached out to us after a very sad and disheartening event in our lives. We want to thank Herbie, Barbara and all the staff at the Bagwell Academy, for reaching out to our daughter and making her feel just like she is: One of them.
We want to thank all the other students who see our daughter for who she is: Another Zumba/Cardio student who is having fun and doing something good for herself. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.
We love you all.
Patti and Phil Saad and Family