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Beautiful Lives Project team kids with York Revolution

Patriot-News - 8/3/2022

What do you get when you take a spectacular summer day, a beautiful empty baseball stadium, players and dozens of enthusiastic pupils ready to soak up the expert tips on hitting, catching and running?

Nothing but fun.

That was the order of the day Wednesday afternoon as about five dozen people with disabilities - some in wheelchairs - soaked in a day of baseball with players and coaches of the York Revolution and Lancaster Barnstormers as part of the Beautiful Lives Project.

The event, held at Peoples Bank Park in York, home of the Revolution, was organized by Bryce Weiler, cofounder of the Beautiful Lives Project, which is dedicated to helping people with disabilities realize their dreams in sports.

“This is a big day here for my ballpark,” said Revs manager Mark Mason. “It’s a big day for my players. “This allows us to understand more about life than just baseball and all the things we worry about,”

Weiler, who is blind, said such events were crucial in helping people with disabilities experience sports.

In addition to Mason, Ross Peeples, manager of the Lancaster team, was on hand with his players to coach and drill the participants.

“It is special for me to have both men out on the field at one point in time with their teams because of that both men have meant to my life and my work to help people with disabilities to experience sports,” Weiler said.

For Ethan Briner it was a day to live out a baseball fantasy.

“I was just whipping and tearing through,” said Briner, a 14-year-old incoming Middletown High School freshman with cerebral palsy. “I was sliding to the left, sliding to the right.”

Briner, who uses a wheelchair, got a fast boost around the bases from his older brother Justin. He whooped it up so loud, just about everyone had to pause to have a look.

Weiler, who has been organizing such events since 2017, said the event goes beyond the immediate fun to have lasting benefits.

“For the individuals with disabilities taking part today, I hope you are able to make great friendships and learn baseball skills,” Weiler said. “For the parents and guardians who brought people out, thanks for bringing them out.”

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