The Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival has awarded a total of $250,000 to two nonprofit organizations, the net proceeds of its holiday-season fundraising event at the Burr Homestead.

Festival officials said they gave $125,000 each to the Fairfield-based Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center and to the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport.

The breast care center provides a network of services for breast health at its Beach Road headquarters, at Bridgeport Hospital and at a facility in Trumbull.

The Shehan center provides recreational, educational, and social programs for moderate- and low-income families and youths in lower Fairfield County.

The two organizations have combined for a pilot program in which the Shehan Center will refer women in its programs to the Pfriem Center for breast care, and a portion of their grants will fund that effort.

"We were proud to bring these two local organizations together to pool their resources and create a health awareness pilot program to combat breast cancer," festival president Moira Rachel said in a news release.

The festival -- Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 -- attracted hundreds of people to the Burr Homestead, which volunteers had decked out for the holidays.

The organization has announced its 2013 beneficiary will be Kennedy Center in Bridgeport.

The festival is accepting applications to be the 2014 beneficiaries. Applications and guidelines are available at The application deadline is April 15.

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