The Beautiful Lives Project was and is the dream of Anthony Iacovone. Mr. Iacovone, a successful entrepreneur and owner of the New Britain Bees Independent League baseball team, decided that he wanted to set up a charitable organization through which he could assist people who needed, but were unable to afford, counseling and rehabilitation. Before Mr. Iacovone could set his dream into motion, he was inspired to go down a somewhat different path.
Early in 2017, Mr. Iacovone was contacted by a young, blind sports broadcaster named Bryce Weiler. Mr. Weiler and his partner, Diane McFeaters, had founded an organization called The Field of Dreams. The Field of Dreams organization had a mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through sports experiences. This mission was carried out by finding professional and collegiate sports teams that were willing to share their facilities and their talents with groups of participants who were disabled. The hosts and group participants were assembled through the solicitation efforts of Bryce Weiler.
As a result of this solicitation process in early 2017, Mr. Weiler contacted Mr. Iacovone in an effort to solicit the support of his New Britain Bees team. It was at this point that Mr. Iacovone was inspired to act. Not only did he want to have his Bees team become an integral part of the Field of Dreams programming, he wanted the Field of Dreams to be the launch point for his dream, The Beautiful Lives Project.
The Field of Dreams was formally folded into The Beautiful Lives Project when Mr. Iacovone hired Mr. Weiler and Ms. McFeaters in May of 2017. The mission of The Beautiful Lives Project and its path forward became an extension of the Field of Dreams program. Mr. Iacovone’s contributions would be the impetus behind the growth of The Beautiful Lives Project.
In January of 2018, the Beautiful Lives Project began a process of broadening the way in which the organization lived up to its mission. The core mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities remained in place but the scope was widened to include not only sports, but performing arts, visual arts, nature and living well. The wider scope allowed the field of host organizations to be broadened from just sports teams to business, civic and academic organizations of all types. More importantly, the new mission offered the possibility that self-sustaining Beautiful Lives Project chapters could be installed in communities across the nation.
Bryce Weiler is a co-founder for the Beautiful Lives Project. Weiler was born and raised in Claremont, Illinois. Born with an eye condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity, Bryce grew up blind. Attended public school from elementary through his freshmen year of high school. Completed his high school education at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Indianapolis. Bryce’s passion for sports on the radio led him to commentating on radio sports broadcasts for the University of Evansville, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Communication, and Western Illinois University, where he earned a master’s degree in Sports Administration. After college, Bryce began developing programs for fans with disabilities. The first teams to join him in his work were the Baltimore Orioles and the New Britain Bees baseball teams.
Diane McFeaters is co-founder for the Beautiful Lives Project. She was born and raised in Loogootee, Indiana. She attended the University of Evansville and graduated with a bachelor's in Psychology. While in college, Diane met Bryce and they quickly became good friends. After graduation, she went on to work with children with mental and emotional disabilities in the school and hospital settings.. Through her experiences working in the mental health field, she developed a strong passion for helping others. Diane is honored to be a part of the Beautiful Lives Project and is looking forward to helping fans achieve success on and off the field.
Anthony Iacavone is owner of the New Britain Bees (Professional Baseball Team located in Connecticut) and has helped tremendously in the creation of The Beautiful Lives Project. He has opened his ballpark to our project as home to host events with the New Britain Bees. He works diligently to make sure everyone is having fun and is accommodated each and every BLP event.A highly successful entrepreneur, Anthony works diligently to make sure that Bryce’s dream and passion is being fulfilled. Anthony is at every Bees event ensuring that everyone is well accommodated and having fun.