NEW HYDE PARK, Queens — TV personality and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest arrived in Queens on Tuesday to launch a brand new studio designed for a special cause.
The state-of-the-art facility at Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park is the first in the New York area, but part of what has become a national chain of “Seacrest Studios” built by his nonprofit foundation .
Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the 13th facility designed to provide young patients with an escape from the great challenges they face daily.
“I love what I do for a living, but what I do is a lot of fun and it’s not too serious,” said Seacrest, arriving as a hero. “It gave me real purpose.”
The New Hyde Park studio is the newest of a dozen children’s hospitals across the country, all offering seriously ill children the opportunity to host their own shows.
Even those who are too ill to be in the studio can participate from their rooms.
“I think when you’re in one of these facilities, a lot of serious things happen,” Seacrest said. “When a patient, a child and a family can escape what they are experiencing, it is part of the healing process and it also contributes greatly to their mental health.”
As a video made by his foundation clearly shows, these studios can change young people’s lives forever.
For more than a dozen years now, Seacrest has mobilized his own family in these efforts.
“It brought us closer together,” he said. “It’s even more important to work with my mother, father and sister on a project like this.”
Meredith Seacrest Leach is the executive director of her brother’s foundation.
“It’s not work,” she said. “It’s just something we can do to give back to our families who are going through a tough time and use our relationships for good.”
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Joining their family are celebrity friends Taylor Swift, Ludacris, Ed Sheeran and many more.
“Seeing someone you idolize is so impactful,” Leach said.
“And we hope to continue to do that and even when I’m long gone, these things will continue to work and do that,” Seacrest added.