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Utah's Promise to honor Walker

Gov. Olene Walker will be recognized as one of Utah's major contributors to the welfare of the state's children.

Utah's Promise will present Walker with the Red Wagon Award Thursday. The award honors individuals and groups instrumental in "keeping Utah's promise" to kids.

Walker is specifically being honored for increasing the number of trained foster-care families and volunteers in mentoring programs, creating safe-neighborhood councils, boosting enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program and raising the level of literacy among children, as well as several other achievements.

Utah's Promise was created seven years ago as a result of America's Promise, an initiative launched by retired Gen. Colin Powell, who is now secretary of the U.S. State Department. Walker and former Gov. Mike Leavitt were central to the creation of Utah's Promise, a grass-roots effort centered around five "promises" to the state's youth.