Blue pinwheels will dot the lawn of the Montana capitol on Monday April 13, as 200 Jefferson Middle School students and public officials rally in support of preventing child abuse and neglect.

As part of the event, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana will donate ten thousand dollars to the Montana Children’s Trust Fund. Jamey Petersen manages the fund’s grant program and says child abuse impacts the lives of thousands of Montana kids every year.

"On average the department of Public Health and Human Services completes about 7600 investigations, just investigations of child abuse and neglect every year," said Petersen. "Those usually involve around 11,000 children"

Perhaps the most startling statistic is the rapidly growing number of children in the foster care system.

"The number of children in foster care is continually climbing, as of February, 28th 2015, there were 2,417 cases of children in foster care, and that's the highest number of children in the last 15 years," Petersen said.

The rally will begin at 11:30 a.m. with speeches from Health and Human Services Director Richard Opper, First Lady Lisa Bullock, and Miss Montana Victoria Valentine. The blue pinwheels are meant to be a reminder that every Montana child should have a happy childhood.