New Hyde Park, Queens—— Television personality and “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest arrived in Queens on Tuesday to launch a new studio designed for a special cause.
Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park is a state-of-the-art facility, the first in the New York City area, but it is part of a national chain of “Seacrest Studios” built by his nonprofit foundation.
Tuesday’s ribbon cutting marked the opening of the 13th facility designed to provide young patients with a break from the overwhelming challenges they face every day.
“I love what I do, but what I do is fun and not too serious,” said Seacrest, who received a hero’s welcome. “It gave me a real purpose.”
The new Hyde Park studio is the latest of more than a dozen studios at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, all of which offer seriously ill children the opportunity to stage their own shows.
Even those who are too sick to enter the studio can participate from their own rooms.
“I think there are a lot of serious things that can happen when you’re in one of these facilities,” Seacrest said. “When patients, children and families are able to let go of what they’re going through, it’s part of the recovery process and it really helps with their mental health.”
As the videos produced by his foundation clearly demonstrate, these workshops can change young lives forever.
For more than a decade, Seacrest has been enlisting his own family members to participate in these efforts.
“It brings us closer together,” he said. “It becomes even more important to be involved in a project like this with my mom, dad and sister.”
Meredith Seacrest Leach is the executive director of her brother’s foundation.
“This is not work,” she said. “It’s just something we can do to give back to families who are going through a hard time and use our connections to do good.”
RELATED | Ryan Seacrest unveils new broadcast studio at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis
Joining their family are famous friends Taylor Swift, Ludacris, Ed Sheeran and more.
“It’s so impactful to see someone you admire,” Leach said.
“We want to continue to do this, and even long after I’m gone, these things will continue to run and do this,” Seacrest added.