Feel The Farce As “Family Guy” Skewers ‘Star Wars’

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Return to the Griffins’ version of that galaxy far, far away as their freakin’ sweet saga continues with “Family Guy: It’s A Trap!” – arriving exclusively on Blu-ray and DVD December 21 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. In the third installment of the hilarious Star Wars satire – following 2005’s “Family Guy: Blue Harvest” and last year’s “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side“ – the Griffins reprise their intergalactic roles in an outrageous retelling of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.

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Fans received an early peek of the epic farce at San Diego Comic-Con as Seth MacFarlane previewed 10 minutes of “Family Guy: It’s A Trap!” during the “Family Guy” panel this past weekend.

In this spectacular and offensively uproarious final chapter, Luke Skywalker (Chris) and Princess Leia (Lois) must travel to Tatooine to free Han Solo (Peter) by infiltrating the wretched stronghold of Jabba the Hutt (Joe), the galaxy’s most loathsome and dreadful gangster. Once reunited, the Rebels team up with a tribe of Ewoks to combat the Imperial forces on the forest moon of Endor. Meanwhile, the Emperor (Carter Pewterschmidt) and Darth Vader (Stewie) conspire to turn Luke to the dark side, and young Skywalker is determined to rekindle the spirit of the Jedi within his father. The Galactic Civil War has never been more outrageous, as the Rebel forces gather to attack the seemingly defenseless and incomplete second Death Star in the battle that will determine the fate of the galaxy.

Adding to the fun, “Family Guy: It’s A Trap!” is loaded with hysterical cameo voice spots – including Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn reprising their roles from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Adam West (“Batman”), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars Trilogy) and conservative talk radio juggernaut Rush Limbaugh as the voice of the large carnivorous repto-mammal, the Rancor.

“The fan base for “Family Guy” and Star Wars, both enthusiastic, have embraced the first two hilarious spoofs,” said Mike Dunn, President of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Bringing the distinctive storylines together for the trilogy of parodies has been enormously successful and lends itself to create unique home entertainment releases.”

As an added bonus, “Family Guy: It’s A Trap!” will also be available in Blu-ray and DVD triple-packs featuring all the “Family Guy” Star Wars spoofs…the perfect gift for the holiday season!

About TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

STAR WARS™ and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, TV Guide Network – Tweet to Win Sweepstakes

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TV Guide Network Launches “Curb Your Enthusiasm on TV Guide Network – Tweet to Win Sweepstakes
Entrants Tweet for a Chance to Win a 55” HDTV

* TV Guide Network is bringing a TV lover’s dream to fans with the “Curb Your Enthusiasm on TV Guide Network – Tweet to Win Sweepstakes.” To enter, participants are asked to tune in to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Curb: The Discussion” on TV Guide Network the weeks of July 26 and August 2, and then visit this site: http://www.tvguide.com/curbgiveaway where participants will connect with their Twitter account and be asked to send out a pre-populated tweet about the promotion, including an answer to a trivia question from that week’s episodes, in order to complete their entry.

The grand prize is a 55” HDTV, plus everything you need to enjoy it: a wearable blanket, a $200 gift card to purchase DVDs and a $100 gift card for TV-time snacks. Additionally, ten runners up will win a $150 gift card to purchase DVDs. Winners will be chosen by random drawing and notified via Twitter on Friday, August 6.

Leverage

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For those of you who are just as excited and as anxious as I am, I am THRILLED to announce that the hit drama on TNT called Leverage has returned for  a THIRD SEASON! Sundays at 8/9c. When TNT says “We Know Drama”…they are not kidding.

I have to say, it takes a lot to get me hooked on a new show. I am pretty rigid with my TV schedule and I don’t often allow room for new TV ventures that come along to intrude on my viewing pleasure when most of them turn out to be more than a waste of my precious free time. However, I was pleasantly surprised when LEVERAGE turned out to be sofa king good!

Leverage is the rare show that combines blockbuster action with smart humor, clever storytelling, and quirky characters you can’t help but root for. The series follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who act as modern-day Robin Hoods, taking revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.

Oscar Winner, Timothy Hutton [who I totally LOVE] plays former insurance investigator Nate Ford, a once-loyal corporate employee who had recovered millions of dollars in stolen goods for his employer. But when that employer denied his son’s insurance claims and allowed the boy to die, he realized he could no longer work for such an entity.

The gang is led by former insurance investigator Nate Ford (Hutton). His highly skilled team includes Sophie Devereaux (Bellman), a grifter who uses her acting skills to corner her marks; Eliot Spencer (Kane), a “retrieval specialist” with bone-crunching fighting skills; Alec Hardison (Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team informed; and Parker (Riesgraf), a slightly off-center thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.

By the end of the second season, the LEVERAGE team had scammed a hedge-fund manager who happened to be in the custody of U.S. Marshals; used Eliot’s martial arts skills to corner a corrupt fight promoter; and took over a private school to recover millions of dollars lost in a Ponzi scheme. They also went head-to-head with an almost identical team of grifters to recover a painting, took down an oppressive sweatshop owner, cornered a fake psychic, freed Nate’s ex-wife from a Ukrainian jail and thwarted a gunrunning scheme by a corrupt mayor.

But for Sophie, her conflicted relationship with Nate left her questioning if she wanted to continue working with the team. She took some much-needed time away, arranging for a friend and fellow grifter to take her place temporarily. But even though Sophie has now returned to the team, there are still some unresolved issues between her and Nate.

The third season of LEVERAGE opens with Nate in prison after having to make a tough choice on the most recent con. He could either allow his team to be arrested or simply give himself up to his nemesis Sterling, a former insurance investigator now working for Interpol. Nate soon discovers, however, that the prison is corrupt. The only way he can bring the crooked officials down is to get his team to help him stage his jailbreak.

But that’s only the beginning of Nate’s challenges. He must also contend with a shadowy intelligence agent known only as “The Italian,” played by actress and model Elisabetta Canalis, who blackmails him into helping bring down a financier. Between “The Italian” trying to control Nate and Nate trying to hold both his crew and his personal life together, it’s looking to be a challenging and twisted summer for the LEVERAGE team.

I can’t even imagine what we have to look forward to this season.

More About The Characters:

Nathan Ford

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Timothy Hutton plays; Nathan Ford: Good-looking and still sharp, despite the layers of insomnia and hangover damage he’s accumulating as fast as he can. Nate was an expert at recovering stolen items…until the insurance company he worked for (I.Y.S.) refused to pay for his 8-year-old son Sam’s “experimental” treatment. When his son died a couple of years ago, Nate went on the skids. In the pilot, Dubenich hires him as the one honest man to keep a group of thieves in check. Now, Nate leads the team to right injustices, funded by their unique take on “alternate revenue stream”. He has a long catch-and release history with Sophie, who is the only team member he selected himself.

Alec Hardison

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Aldis Hodge plays; Alec Hardison: Young, thick-shouldered, and looks like he should be playing pro ball. But Hardison’s tall good looks are counter to type; he’s actually a geek of the first order and an expert at all things electronic. And he loves orange soda!

Eliot Spencer

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Christian Kane plays; Eliot Spencer: Eliot is not a large guy, but he is deceptively dangerous. His coiled and precise movements belie his quiet cowboy charm. He doesn’t like guns and, it turns out, doesn’t need them. Despite his rep as a tough guy, he is an apparent whiz in the kitchen and known to take the occasional manly sip of tea. Delicious.

Parker

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Beth Riesgraf plays; Parker: Petite, cute, blonde… and a social pariah. Parker’s idea of fun would scare the living daylights out of most people. She has neither modesty nor fear of heights. Like Hardison, Parker grew up in the foster care system, but her tale is one of abuse and neglect. She’s insecure about only one thing: her ability to pass herself off as a normal person.

Sophie Devereaux

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Gina Bellman plays; Sophie Devereaux :Sophie has dark eyes and lips you find yourself staring at while she’s talking. Where Parker’s a stiletto, Sophie is all curves and mist. She’s a seductress capable of convincingly playing any character or nationality… as long as it’s not on an actual theatrical stage where she will overact magnificently.


And because this show is just so AWESOME? I will be holding a  LEVERAGE  GIVEAWAY CONTEST!

[Prizes are supplied by the Leverage team at TNT] And- You my dear readers will have the chance to win one of these prizes:

The Con Artist Handbook

OR

Safecracker

I will be asking you a few trivia questions about the show – and the reader who answers the questions correctly in the comment wins!

Yes?

Teen Mom

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Teen Mom Season 2 premieres tonight, Tuesday, July 20, on MTV at 10pm ET/PT.

Preview Video clip HERE

MTV’s thought-provoking docu-series, “Teen Mom ” returns this summer as the four young mothers who captivated audiences in season one come back to share their stories as they enter a new chapter of motherhood. Beginning on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 10pm ET/PT, Maci, Amber, Catelynn and Farrah experience all of the heartbreak, joy, and struggles that come with raising a child when you’re still a child yourself.  Millions of viewers were along for the ups and downs each girl faced as pregnant teens on “16 and Pregnant” and the first season of “Teen Mom” – now they’ll watch as these young moms strive to give their children the best life possible while facing their toughest challenges yet – from rocky relationships and finding new love to family disputes and pregnancy scares.

As season two of “Teen Mom” returns, viewers quickly see that despite moments of joy and little ones saying “momma” for the first time, things are as difficult as ever for these teen mothers.  After breaking up with her fiancé Ryan, Maci finds herself back at home with Bentley, going to community college full-time, and in a trying battle with Ryan over child support.  It’s only when Maci falls in love with someone new that she starts to build a new life for her and Bentley – but Ryan won’t make things easy.

Following a domestic dispute with her mother, Farrah, a single mom, is forced to move out on her own and works to make ends meet without help from her family.  She focuses on school and work, and setting up a better future for her and Sophia, all while working to heal her relationship with her mother.  When she finally thinks she has a solution to her financial problems, a drastic change of events makes her realize she may not have all the answers after all.

Meanwhile, Amber is struggling to get her GED after dropping out of high school to raise Leah.  After a pregnancy scare, Amber and her boyfriend Gary find themselves getting along fine- until Gary reveals that he wants a break so he can date another girl.  Amber and Gary’s relationship quickly becomes an emotional rollercoaster, and Amber fights to keep her family together.

Although Catelynn and her fiancé Tyler know they made the right decision when they chose adoption for their daughter Carly, they’re still dealing with the grief and emotional fallout almost a year later.  A senior in high school now, Catelynn is still living at Tyler’s house.  When he asks her to move back in with her mom, she quickly realizes that he is still grieving over the adoption and needs his space.  Meanwhile, her mom, who never approved of the adoption, continues to lash out making Catelynn’s senior year of high school even tougher.  Not to mention, Catelynn and Tyler’s relationship gets rocky when he learns Catelynn lied about something in her past.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy , one out of every ten children in the United States is born to a teenage mother and about one quarter of all teen moms have a second child within two years, making it difficult to get an education or escape poverty. Additionally, children born to teen parents are more likely to repeat the cycle and become teen parents themselves. Despite the availability of sex education and access to contraception, the United States continues to have the highest rate of teen pregnancy and teen birth in the entire developed world.

Viewers can visit MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s www.itsyoursexlife.com to learn more about the realities of being a teen parent and receive expert advice on pregnancy prevention. In addition, Sex Etc. and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy will also provide information.

The first season of “Teen Mom” was MTV’s number one new series in 2009, averaging 2.4 million viewers.  Additionally, its series debut was MTV’s strongest series launch in over a year and averaged a 2.3 P12-34 rating.  During season one, “Teen Mom” ranked number one in its time period versus all television competition among F12-34 and number one compared to all cable competitors among P12-34.

“Teen Mom” is Executive Produced by Morgan J Freeman. Tony DiSanto is President of Programming for MTV. Liz Gateley and Lauren Dolgen of MTV are Executive Producers. Kenda Greenwood is Co-Executive Producer. Jessica Zalkind is Executive for MTV.  Concept by Lauren Dolgen.

Executive Producer Morgan J. Freeman (MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, Laguna Beach, Taking The Stage) made a name for himself as the Sundance award-winning writer/director of Hurricane Streets, a film centered on the trails and tribulations of teenage life. Freeman’s latest films, Homecoming, a thriller starring Mischa Barton and Jessica Stroup (90210), and Just Like The Son (Mark Webber, Rosie Perez) were recently released on DVD.

About The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy:
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families. Our specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy so that a higher proportion of babies are born into wanted and welcoming circumstances. The National Campaign supports a combination of responsible behavior by men and women and responsible policies in the public and private sectors. Find out more at www.thenationalcampaign.org or www.stayteen.org .

About MTV:
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries — giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24 and P12-34. Online, MTV.com averaged 24.5 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2010 — up +8% from Q4/2009 and up +13% year-over-year. Average video streams for the first quarter of 2010 increased +8% from the Q4/2009 and is up +6% over the same time period last year. And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving young males, music fans, and college students like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Ghost Hunters, and Martha Stewart

Some unexpected guests make an appearance on the next episode of Planet Green’s new original series The Fabulous Beekman Boys, airing on Wednesday, July 14 at 9/8c. In addition to heading into the city for a black tie event with Martha Stewart, Brent and Josh discover that the Beekman estate, which is home to more than 80 of their goats, a diva llama and themselves,  may in fact be haunted. On the episode entitiled “The Haunting of Beekman Farm,” homeowners Josh and Brent and several of their visitors believe they hear ghosts of residents past. After their one-year anniversary in the mansion, dishes began clanking, voices started calling out and floorboards began creaking, witnessed by the boys, their guests and fellow town members. In order to set the record straight, Brent enlists the help of a ghost hunter to investigate their 200-year-old estate and identify the spirits. When the results of the hunt come in, they learn that The Beekman Mansion was at one point home to four year old Mary Beemkan, and according to the ghost hunters she has continued to live there for over 200 years.

Despite the eerie feel, the boys aren’t afraid of their visitors, and in fact, welcome the wandering spirits. But what’s unique about the Beekman – why would ghosts linger there in the first place and just who are they? Take a look at this incredible unexplainable footage, learn about the evidence, and check out the spooky sounds and ghostly images via the links below:

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Hear The Hauntings (Audio)

Take A Spooky Estate Tour (Slideshow)

More information about The Beekman Mansion Hauntings:
Perhaps the answer lie in the history. The Beekman mansion was built between 1802 and 1804 by William Beekman, a young soldier in the Revolutionary War who later became a recognized businessman. He and his wife, Joanna, had eight children, only two of which lived to age 20. According to the tombstones in the Beekman family crypt on the mansion’s property, one child, age nine, was killed by “a sleigh going over him,” and a teenage son was “felled by a tree.” Town lore says that another child called Mary, a four-year-old, died in a barn fire. (William Beekman who died in 1845, at 78 years old, actually outlived all of his children).

A “ghost hunter” who visited Josh and Brent shortly after they moved in identified five ghosts in the Beekman: a woman who hums in the attic; a char maid who wanders between two bedrooms checking the fires late at night (who does so more often if fireplaces are being used); a man that walks, limping, by the road looking for the woman who has a salve for his leg; a man in buckskin who paces between the kitchen and dining room; and Mary – who stands on her tiptoes in the doorways pointing at Brent and Josh, laughing.
Of all the spirits that visit, the boys feel closely tied to Mary, the name carved under the floorboards of the center hall. Despite the array of pacing men and humming women walking around their home, the boys aren’t spooked.

“Any presence we’ve felt seems completely benign. In fact, if I’m alone in the house, I often feel comforted by the activity rather than frightened. It just feels like a ‘full house…. I think all of our spirits are peaceful…regardless of how they died,’” Josh says.
Though the boys may be at ease with the spirits, there’s one room Josh’s mom, Jackie Purcell, avoids.
“There is one room in the house, the bedroom over the dining room that I am not at all comfortable being in. As foolish as it is, when I sleep in an adjoining bedroom, I lock the door,” Jackie says. Instead sensing a sinister presence, Jackie actually feels a profound sadness in the room and doesn’t wish to be too close to it.

Bedroom over the dining room aside, the boys and their visitors simply feel the comings and goings of their spirit roommates – family activity of pot lids clanking and spoons stirring. Usually these occur at night, Josh says, but perhaps it’s because the boys are simply too noisy to pay attention during the day. The sounds last for a minute or more, and Josh says they seem “to be coming from everywhere and nowhere at once.” The ghost hunters captured the ghosts saying distinct things: names and phrases, along with presences moving about the house. “There is one floorboard near the stairs that has a very distinctive creak when stepped upon. I hear that creak very often,” Josh says.

“If You Really Knew Me”

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MTV’s new docu-series “If You Really Knew Me” goes inside high schools across the country to discover what can happen when students peel back their public personas, break out of their cliques and show their peers who they really are. Premiering on Tuesday, July 20, at 11pm, each episode visits a different school, following five students as they tear down the walls that divide them through a transformative one-day program, “Challenge Day .”  Reminiscent of the film “The Breakfast Club,” this real life series goes beneath the surface and behind the labels, ultimately uniting these students as they surprise each other with illuminating yet sometimes difficult truths about their lives.

‘If You Really Knew Meis an incredibly authentic and compelling docu-series that takes us on a 24 hour journey through a high school’s social transformation. It shows us what happens when kids from various cliques decide to break down the walls that divide them and commit to change,” said Tony DiSanto, President of Programming for MTV. “It’s an intense and dramatic experience, but ultimately uplifting and universally relatable for all of us who have gone through high school or are about to.”

Each episode takes place at a different high school with its own set of issues and its own unique set of cliques.  In the series premiere, viewers go inside a Northern California school divided by race and cliques, a symptom of a newly-diverse student body that has grown from 500 to 2,400 students in just 10 years.  As the season progresses, the show profiles a variety of schools struggling with everything from cyberbullying to small town rumor mills.  Viewers learn that all of the young people profiled are striving to make the best of their high school years, while experiencing many of the same doubts and fears that are part of being a teenager.   Deep down, all of these students want to be accepted for who they really are.

“Of all the programs I’ve ever filmed that help young people, Challenge Day is the most impressive and effective,” said Arnold Shapiro of Arnold Shapiro Productions. “Bringing MTV and Challenge Day together for this life-changing series has resulted in some of the most rewarding, amazing and uplifting hours I’ve ever produced.”

“‘If You Really Knew Me’ illuminates the power and strength that young people have when they share and connect in a vulnerable and authentic way,” said Jaime Polson, Chief Executive Officer of Challenge Day. “We truly believe that this series has the power to transform people’s lives, and by working with MTV and Arnold Shapiro Productions, we’re able to bring Challenge Day to even more people across the country.”


Online at MTV.com viewers can find exclusive content and updates on students featured in the series, sound off in an interactive discussion forum, and locate information and resources on issues touched on in the show.  Fans tweeting about the show can use the official series hash tag #IfYouReallyKnewMe. Additionally, educators, organizations and individuals will be able to access information on Challenge Day, including weekly discussion guides that can be used as a resource to open up a dialogue and apply some of the training used by Challenge Day in the show.

As the series progresses, “If You Really Knew Me” touches on a number of issues young people struggle with today, from mental health to cyberbullying. On-air and online, MTV will connect viewers to information and resources for many of the topics addressed in the show, often integrating the network’s core public education initiatives including A THIN LINE , which aims to empower young people to stop the spread of digital abuse; Half of Us , mtvU’s Peabody Award-winning campaign to fight stigma around mental health; and It’s Your (Sex) Life , MTV’s Emmy and Peabody-winning partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation to encourage young people to make responsible decisions about their sexual health.

“If You Really Knew Me” is Executive Produced by Arnold Shapiro and Paul J. Coyne of Arnold Shapiro Productions, and Angie Day for MTV.  Tony DiSanto is President of Programming for MTV, Liz Gateley is Senior Vice President of Production Development for MTV, and Tamar Zohar is Senior Director of Series Development for MTV.  Concept by Arnold Shapiro.

About MTV:
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries — giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24 and P12-34.  Online, MTV.com averaged 24.5 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2010 — up +8% from Q4/2009 and up +13% year-over-year. Average video streams for the first quarter of 2010 increased +8% from the Q4/2009 and is up +6% over the same time period last year.  And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving young males, music fans, and college students like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

About Arnold Shapiro Productions:
Best known for his Oscar and Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Scared Straight”, and the CBS series, “Rescue 911,” hosted by William Shatner, Arnold Shapiro Productions– for more than 30 years– has been committed to documentaries and reality series aimed at helping young people get from childhood to adulthood without getting killed, dropping out, becoming addicted, pregnant, suicidal, or depressed.  “If You Really Knew Me” addresses all these issues and more.  ASP has produced 31 series and over 100 documentaries for every broadcast network and 14 cable channels, garnering 16 Emmys, the Peabody Award, and an Academy Award.

About Challenge Day:
Challenge Day’s vision is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated.  Additionally, the Challenge Day mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.