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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 6, 2021
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757, jebelt@mt.gov
                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367, hcouncil@mt.gov


State Officials Kick Off Strengthening Families Month Activities

1,000 blue pinwheels planted outside Capitol

HELENA – Lt. Governor Kristen Juras, Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Adam Meier, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) Vice President of External Affairs John Doran were joined by various organization representatives Tuesday, April 6 for a Pinwheels for Prevention event at the Capitol.

Over 1,000 bright blue pinwheels were placed in the ground and will spin in the wind for the next month as part of Strengthening Families Month Activities in April.

The Montana Children’s Trust Fund (MTCTF) also accepted a $10,000 sponsorship from BCBSMT to help raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect across the state. Activities include Pinwheels for Prevention and the Go Blue Challenge.

Meier said everyone in the community plays a role is raising children and strengthening families. “It’s vital that we work together to raise awareness about the resources that are available in Montana to strengthen families and keep children safe,” he said. “I appreciate the support from Blue Cross Blue Shield, and all those across the state who are raising awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect.”

The funds from BCBSMT will be used to distribute an additional 4,300 blue pinwheels throughout Montana. Pinwheels are a happy and uplifting symbol of childhood that sends the demonstrates message that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment. They represent efforts to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide, while recognizing that child development is a building block for community and economic development.

Organizations in Montana are encouraged to contact MTCTF to request materials and plant Pinwheels for Prevention in their communities.

MTCTF is also asking Montanans to participate in the Go Blue Challenge from the comfort of their homes. Visit the MTCTF Facebook page @mtchildrenstrustfund to find the Go Blue Challenge post. Wear blue anytime in April, copy the post and share your photo, and challenge friends to do the same to show support of Montana families and child abuse prevention.

MTCTF raises awareness in communities statewide. “Strengthening Families Month activities are something everyone can participate in to show support of children and families,” said Melissa Lavinder of the MTCTF. 

The complete list of participating communities thus far is Anaconda, Billings, Butte, Deer Lodge, Dillon, East Helena, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, Hamilton, Hardin, Helena, Kalispell, Lewistown, Libby, Miles City, Missoula, Red Lodge, and Superior.

This is the seventh year that Blue Cross Blue Shield has sponsored Strengthening Families Month and MTCTF.

“Children are our future, and we want to ensure they grow up in safe, stable, loving environments and relationships,” said BCBSMT Vice President John Doran. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is honored to continue its support of the Children’s Trust Fund and its efforts to strengthen families across our state.”

More information can be found at monmontanachildrenstrustfund.org  or by visiting Facebook or Instagram @mtchildrenstrustfund

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pinwheels About Montana Children’s Trust Fund Montana Children’s Trust Fund strategically supports initiatives to effectively strengthen Montana's families and keep children safe from abuse and neglect. These initiatives work to ensure that Montana children are born into and raised in safe, stable, and nurturing environments. MT CTF provides Montana with programs, activities, and resources for parents, caregivers, and families that seek to strengthen their families.

In the photo below, John Doran of Blue Cross Blue Shield, left, DPHHS Branch Manager Erica Johnston, middle, and DPHHS Director Adam Meier take time Tuesday to 'plant' pinwheels around the Capitol.  

"Planting pinwheels"