Denzel Washington, Wife Raise Millions for Museum

Early in President Barack Obama’s presidency, he insisted that all funds needed in order to complete the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture be raised before he exits The White House.

That goal didn’t fall on deaf ears.

While many gathered at The White House last weekend for the annual and final White House Correspondence Dinner, iconic actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta stayed home and organized a fundraiser to make Obama’s wish a settled deal.

According to Variety, the couple invited an elite group to their home and raised more than $17 million for one of the president’s major priorities.

“There is such a historical significance to this project. It means so much for our community, our country and to future generations,” Denzel told the publication.

In addition to the funds, creative queen Shonda Rhimes made a $10 million dollar pledge.

Prior to the fundraising success, the federal government contributed $270 million to the historical project, leaving the community and Smithsonian to divvy up the rest. In April, the museum raised more than $252 million dollars.

And the goal has successfully been met and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors on September 24.

And yes, President Obama will do the honors of cutting the ribbon!