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One thousand balloons honoring Mountain West residents who have benefited from organ transplants were released Mondayfrom the steps of the Utah State Capitol building, as Gov. Norm Bangerter signs a proclamation recognizing Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week in Utah.

Many of the organ recipients, their families and the families of individuals who have donated organs released the balloons and answered questions about organ donation.The Utah event coincided with similar balloon-releasing activities nationwide on Monday, including a noon balloon release in Washington, D.C.

The week is being recognized throughout the United States to remind everyone of the lives that are saved through organ donations.

Other activities include:

Transplantation health fairs: April 25 from noon to 6 p.m. in the Education Auditorium, LDS Hospital; April 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Veterans Administration Medical Center.

"Re-Birthday Party," celebrating a new life for transplant recipients. Sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation of Utah, the party will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 26 in the Red Lion Inn.