The Calabasas Days Pumpkin Festival raised more than $50,000 for the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce and local charities, more than doubling the amount garnered at the first event last year, a festival organizer said this week.
"We are delighted, of course, as are the nonprofit groups who participated," said Alan Ungar, chamber vice president and festival chairman. "I'm not surprised, though. Everything was very well planned."
More than 30 nonprofit groups such as the Salvation Army, March of Dimes and Red Cross earned money by setting up booths or providing some of the 500 volunteers for the Oct. 23-24 event. Half the proceeds will benefit the charitable organizations, and the other half will go to the Chamber of Commerce, which will put some of the funds toward next year's festival, Ungar said.
The top grossing charity was the Volunteer Center of San Fernando Valley, which earned $4,300 by bringing dozens of volunteers to the event. The Pacific Boys Lodge and local schools, Scouting groups, churches and social service organizations also fared well, Ungar said.
During the festival, an Agoura Hills animal shelter, Pet Prairie, found homes for 63 dogs, cats, rabbits and hamsters.