After CMS Cancels All Proms, Local Organizations Create “Meck Gala Prom”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Junior and Senior prom is another casualty of the pandemic in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Now, several local organizations are stepping up to make sure students don’t miss out on the experience.

“I’ve really been dreaming about prom for all my life, honestly,” says West Charlotte High Senior Matthew Ferguson.

Friday night he’ll attend his first prom.

“I’ve seen prom in other places on TikTok or Instagram, just seein’ it and being like, ‘wow,” he says.

The experience, almost lost, after CMS canceled all high school proms for the second straight year, citing COVID concerns.

That’s when several organizations stepped up, including Young Life Charlotte Urban (FB) (IG), to create what’s being called “Meck Gala Prom.”

“One of the things that we thought of was like, ‘hey how can we get them with people safely and precautiously and just to kind of restore that sense of normalcy,” says Adam Riley, with Young Life Charlotte Urban.

Organizers saw parents and groups step up at other schools to hold private proms and decided to create this one for students from Title 1 schools.

“Why not us? Why not us to try to pitch in and do what we can to kinda, you know, level the playing field and inspire our youth to give them hope in the future,” Riley says.

The prom will be held Friday night at Victoria Yards on North Tryon Street in Uptown.

It’s limited to 100 people and has already sold out.

Everyone attending must show proof of a negative COVID test.

“They just want something to do. Want something to do, want something normal for once, instead of being on a screen and suffocated by a mask,” Riley says.

Matthew says he’s excited for an experience he hopes to remember for the rest of his life.

“I love that I will still be able to have, you know, a prom. It might not be the same prom, but it will be… a prom,” he says.