Program Gets U.S. Grant

The Choices and Challenges Program sponsored by the Bowie-Crofton Business and Professional Women's Club will receive a $100,000 grant from the federal government.

The grant will be used to buy computers, educational software and materials and to make improvements to the Huntington Community Center, where the program meets.

The program was founded in October 1998 and allows girls ages 8 through 15 to listen to guests discuss topics regarding practical skills. Because of growing community interest, the program soon will be expanded to include boys. Call 301-262-4155.

Free Holiday Parking

The City of Mount Rainier is offering free parking at all of its meters during the holiday season, from Dec. 17 to Sunday. The measure, approved by the city's mayor and council, is intended as a "gift" to area shoppers and businesses, and is valued at $1,000.

Vehicle Donations Sought

The Lung Association of Maryland Inc. is accepting donations of cars, boats, trucks, vans and motorcycles to benefit its programs throughout the state. People who donate vehicles can deduct the lesser of fair market or book value of their vehicles as a charitable donation from their taxes. To receive instruction on how to send the association title to the vehicle and to make arrangements for vehicle pickup, call 1-888-300-LUNG. For more information on lung health or disease, call 1-800-LUNG-USA.

Laurel Mall Food Drive

Laurel Mall has announced its annual Food Drive to benefit Elizabeth House, which provides a meal kitchen and food pantry for needy people in Laurel. Mall patrons are encouraged to bring canned and nonperishable food donations to the Customer Service Desk. Elizabeth House serves more than 1,000 meals and answers more than 100 calls for help each month. For more information on its programs, call 301-776-9296. For assistance, call 301-262-7106.

Laurel Mall is at Route 1 and Cherry Lane and is open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Send business-related events and news items to Business Notes, Prince George's Extra, The Washington Post, 14402 Old Mill Rd., Suite 201, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772, e-mail to pgextra@washpost.com or fax them to 301-952-1397.