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Nick Cannon visits Bayside children’s hospital for fundraiser

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

Nick Cannon is giving St. Mary’s Hospital a dose of talent.

The comedian and host of “America’s Got Talent” recently became a board member of the children’s hospital and on Thursday he stopped by the Bayside facility to kick off a fundraiser.

“I visited a few years ago and hanging out with the kids really touched me,” he said, speaking at St. Mary’s. “Now I’m officially Dr. Cannon on the board.”

After that visit, he decided to join the board to help raise money for the thousands of severely disabled children that the hospital serves. The event,  A Tribute to Nick Cannon. started in the hospital on Thursday morning with guest musical performances by finalists from “America’s Got Talent” — Quintavious Johnson and Sons of Seredip. Miss. USA 2014 Nia Sanchez also visited during the event. The event will continue into the evening when Cannon and the other performers will be in Times Square with the children for a performance.

“I’m taking over Times Square,” he said, harkening back to “The Nick Cannon Show” where Cannon “takes over” various things like family or the military to make things better or set them right. In one episode, Cannon even takes over a hospital.

The hospital’s children sat in the lobby as various performers sang to the children about being comfortable with yourself even if you’re not perfect and other themes that resonated with the children.

The acoustic guitar-wielding duo Alternate Routes also performed for the children. Cannon introduced all of the groups and singers.

“The obstacles [the kids] had to overcome makes me feel like my problems are so small,” Cannon said. “The history of this place really drew me in.”

The hospital, which opened in 1870, relies on fundraisers for a large part of their funds, according to the hospital’s spokeswoman Maxine Mitchell. The staff are constantly treating the patients with various forms of physical therapy and musical therapy. But since Medicaid, the insurance most of the kids have, doesn’t cover such treatment, they depend on philanthropists and fundraisers to keep these programs running.

“A lot of our programs are strictly funded through event’s like today’s,” Mitchell said. “We’re very lucky to have someone like Nick Cannon join our board.”

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