MARIETTA, Ga. - When Hollywood actor Denzel Washington came to Atlanta to promote his movie “Fences”, he made sure to see his favorite librarian, 99-year-old Connie Mauro.
The heartwarming relationship started when Denzel was just 7-years-old and Connie gave him his first library card. Denzel lived right across the street from the library in Mount Vernon, New York, where Connie worked for around 50 years.
Despite seeing and reading to countless children over the years, Connie says she always remembered Denzel. So In November when her 99th birthday was coming up, the senior center where she lives decided they wanted to do something extra special.
Connie has always given back to the community, every day she knits scarves to donate to the Boys and Girls Club—an organization to which Denzel Washington has always donated. The Engaged Life Director at Atria Senior Living Center, Katie Barrentine, went above and beyond to give Connie the birthday of her dreams.
Katie, who has worked at the center for two years and describes her job as “walking into a dream every morning,” made a YouTube video with Connie asking Denzel to give her a call. Through Katie’s persistence, the video reached Denzel’s publicist. “She fell in love with the video,” Katie says.
Connie was on Cloud 9 when Denzel gave her a call. Connie remarked, “A busy man like you would take the time to call…I’m so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my memory.” The two of them relived memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, NY, but it didn’t end there. Denzel told Connie that he would be coming to Atlanta in December to promote his movie “Fences,” and he wanted to visit her when he was in town.
“Miss Connie! You have an A-list actor coming to see you!” Katie exclaimed.
He kept his word. A month later, Denzel stopped by Atria Johnson Ferry Senior Living to visit with Connie and the staff.
“There are no words for watching that. We were in tears.”
“You have two different people from two different generations talking about Mount Vernon and how important it is to give back.”
Denzel spent time not only with Connie, but also with everyone at Atria Senior Living in Marietta.
“It was an inspirational moment for the staff as well.”
Connie, her daughter-in-law, and her grandson ended up accompanying Denzel to the screening of his movie. She brought him one of her legendary scarves; the rest they donated to the Boys and Girls Club.
“He is a wonderful human being. He gives back,” says Connie.