Junior Achievement of Angelina County held its first “Set the Table” event Thursday to raise money for the coming year and celebrate the national JA’s 100th birthday.

“Junior Achievement is for three reasons: work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship for kids,” Crystal Williams, with Junior Achievement, said. “So our goal is to expose kids — kindergarten through 12th grade — to being fiscally responsible, understanding how to be ready to work and also understanding they can do anything they want to do.”

The program’s presenting sponsor was Commercial Bank of America, but the event was supported throughout the community, Williams said. Businesses, nonprofits and individuals in the county sponsored tables and decorated them for the event.

“People paid money to sponsor a table and decorated it to show what they can do,” Williams said.

Williams pointed out the Real Graphics table, which had hand-painted platters made to look like real geodes. Barbara Havard with Big Picture event planning also did a huge table filled to the brim with Mad Hatter themed decorations.

McNutt Funeral Home decorated a table to represent the “Tree of Life.” It had different characterizations of each milestone in life from birth to death, but wanted those aspects to be described beyond just general concepts. They also described many blessings people can experience in life like knowledge and relationships.

“We added a cross for your spiritual aspect in your life,” Debbie McNutt, an owner of the funeral home, said. “We just tried to pick out every little aspect of life and put it on the table. It was fun.”

They wanted to support JA because of what the organization teaches children and teenagers before they’re put into the workforce, she said.

The money raised from both the sponsors who paid for a table and those who purchased tickets to the event will be used by JA to keep the education they offer free and to help them reach even further into the community, Williams said.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.