Students at Papillion-La Vista South High School are making sure a Hollywood celebrity doesn't forget them.
Actor Denzel Washington turned down their musical video invitation to attend last year's 10th anniversary celebration for the school.
But the Oscar winner responded, in his own video, with a promise to pay a surprise visit, sometime.
Now the students have made another video reminding him of that promise.
Their initial invitation showed the entire student body — about 1,600 students — at a pep rally chanting “We want Denzel!” and dancing to the Titan Shuffle, which was featured in the 2000 Disney movie “Remember the Titans.”
The movie, which stars Washington as football coach Herman Boone, has special meaning for the school. The community voted for the school mascot to be a Titan shortly after the movie was released.
Every year since 2003 the Titan freshman class has watched the movie, which deals with racial prejudice.
The real coach Boone visited Papillion and electrified the first-ever pep rally at the new school.
With the current school year winding down and no sign of Washington, students decided it was time to get out the video camera again.
They produced a second video, inviting him to graduation.
The video features a stand-in Denzel — a student with a giant poster-board head of Washington — in various scenes around campus.
The message: “It's just not the same without the real Denzel.”
Washington got the message, and on May 2 he telephoned Principal Enid Schonewise.
Washington told her that his son's graduation from the University of Pennsylvania was the same weekend as the Titans' May 12 ceremony, so he couldn't attend.
“But please give everybody my best, and my love, and my prayers for their future, and tell them 'Always remember the Titans,'” he says in a portion of the voice message included in the video.
Schonewise said Washington indicated he still wants to visit.
“He said that he hasn't given up and that he is glad that we still have faith in him,” she said. “He said he will try and stop in someday.”
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