BY JOE MARVILLI
While the music environment at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children is usually for the patients to use themselves, the room was used on Thursday for a special appearance by Nick Cannon.
The musician, philanthropist and host of “America’s Got Talent” visited St. Mary’s on Oct. 3 to meet the patients and create a lead-in to a charity concert for St. Mary’s that took place that night. Before Cannon arrived, around 50 patients of St. Mary’s sat in the music environment and listened to performances by up-and-coming artists like Wonder Boyz, a rap duo, 4Count, a boy band, and Gabi Wilson, a singer/songwriter.
The children were very enthusiastic, cheering for every artist.
When Cannon arrived, he talked to the kids as a group for a minute before meeting each of them one-on-one. The entertainer was signing autographs, taking photos and shaking hands until all the patients had left.
“It’s such a pleasure to be here. This music room is awesome. We’re going to have an incredible time,” he said. “I can’t wait to get a chance to meet everyone.”
Cannon said that helping the youth is a very important cause to him, and that he was happy to meet so many of the kids.
“This is one of those things where it’s kind of near and dear to my heart. It is a passion of mine at the end of the day,” Cannon said. “Meeting the kids is the best part of the whole experience, and the staff too. When you think about the experience and whenever you can make these people have a smile on their face when they’re going through tough times.”
Later that day, the three musicians and Cannon performed at “Nick Cannon ROCKS Times Square,” a benefit concert for St. Mary’s that took place that same night at the Hard Rock Cafe. According to Leslie Johnson, director of communications and marketing at St. Mary’s, children from the hospital’s afterschool program were able to attend the show. Some of the kids even got the chance to introduce the acts, along with Cannon. This is the second charity concert the hospital has held.
“We’re so honored to have Nick Cannon being the host and a performer and bringing all this incredible talent together for St. Mary’s Kids,” Johnson said. “We are thrilled that they can be a part of it, to help build awareness and raise funds for St. Mary’s Health System for Children.”
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.