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U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s Extreme Summer program — which awards points and prizes for participating in a variety of summer activities — is gearing up for another season.

USAFE Services, the program’s organizer, said it will offer more than $150,000 worth of prizes to those who meet with celebrities and athletes, participate in athletic and family events and join in “thousands of fun things for everyone to do.”

Activities begin June 1 and continue through Aug. 31, with early enrollment for prizes beginning Saturday.

Several high-profile visitors already have been scheduled. From May 16-31 Marvel superheroes Captain America and The Hulk will tour USAFE bases. In June, bases will host retired Dallas Cowboy and Air Force reservist Chad Hennings. New York City firefighter Ray Pfeifer will visit in July, and the first African American astronaut in space, Dr. Guion Bluford Jr., will visit in August, as well as three of the Air Force Thunderbirds team members.

All active-duty military, Department of Defense civilians, and their family members 8 years old and older can participate in one of four categories: one for youth 8-12; one for teens 13-18; one for E1-E5 and their spouses; and one for E6-E9, all officers, civilians and their spouses.

In addition to monthly contest winners, there will be a grand prize drawing for participants in the top 15 percent of points earned at the end of the summer. Grand prize winners for the youth and teen category — one from each — will travel to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., while the adult grand prize will be a 2003 Jeep Wrangler.

In addition, sponsors said, there will be more than 1,000 “instant” prizes that participants can win just by loading their points on the program’s Web site.

Information on the program for youths will appear in Stars and Stripes on Sunday, and for adults on May 15. Included in both will be information on how to enroll.

Additional information is available on the Internet at: www.extremesummer.com..

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