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Former Utah First Lady Colleen Bangerter was honored by the Children's Museum of Utah Saturday night for her years of campaigning for the rights and well-being of children.

The wife of former Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter was honored at a black-tie affair at the University Park Hotel. The evening included speeches praising her prolific voluntarism."I can think of no higher privilege than to honor this woman," said Scotti Davis, executive director of the Utah Chapter for the Prevention of Child Abuse. "Colleen Bangerter is this state's best friend. We're grateful that she chose our organization to align herself with."

Honorary chairman of three Utah service organizations, Bangerter has been especially active in children's issues, including the prevention of child abuse.

She has also received awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Utah National Guard and the University of Utah among others for her efforts to prevent youth drug abuse.

Colleen Bangerter was often praised for her untiring work ethic. Both Davis and Judy Shiffman Vernon, Bangerter's former administrative assistants, mentioned her ability to "just roll up her sleeves" and get things done.

Another former Utah first lady was on hand to honor Bangerter. Norma Matheson, wife of the late Gov. Scott Matheson and one of the founders of the Children's Museum, congratulated Bangerter and thanked her for "serving the state, and particularly children, admirably."

The Children's Museum is a non-profit organization that annually honors Utahns who make significant contributions to youth causes in the state.

Dale J. Harding, principal of Salt Lake's Edison Elementary School, was also honored with the First Interstate Charitable Foundation's Principal of the Year Award.

A $1,000 grant will be presented to Edison Elementary in Bangerter's name. The grant will be used to fund arts programs.

The Children's Museum of Utah receives 75,000 visitors annually and is located in the former Wasatch Plunge building at 840 N. 300 West.