Student raises money to hold prom at Clay County venue

Clay County, FL. — Prom is once again canceled for local high school students due to COVID-19. For many seniors, this is the second year in a row.

Devastated by the news, one local senior is working hard to bring prom to her class.

Isabelle Ryan is a senior at Ridgeview High School. School leaders once again canceled this year, saying they couldn’t guarantee Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines would be followed.

Now, she’s taking matters into her own hands.

“I got together with a few friends and started planning it pretty much right away. I think would be a great end to the senior year,” Ryan said.

She’s already raised enough money to book the Clay Theatre for an unsanctioned prom.

“I love the venue. It has an outdoor area, which gives us more space. Our prom normally has closer to 500 people, and so this is going to have less than 200. We have it, all of it spaced out” she said.

We asked Action News Jax medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino about Ryan’s plan.

Aquino said it can be done but with precautions.

An outdoor venue, mask requirement and, hopefully, more immunity.

“We might have a lot more of this population vaccinated number one, which is going to be great. And if our percent positivity within the community is low, meaning we are controlling COVID and it’s not spreading like crazy, that would also make me feel better about letting my kid go to this prom.”

Ryan said parents will also be chaperoning. “I want us all to be able to get together one last time and celebrate all the hard work we’ve done for the past four years.”

Action News Jax reached out to the district for comment. We’re still waiting on a response.

Ryan has a GoFundMe set up in hopes of getting enough money to hire a DJ and pay for other expenses.