LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - From running the Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, singing big band hits, even writing children's books, Leif Pedersen is a busy man. Many people know Pedersen as the Vice president of philanthropy of The Foundation at Memorial Hospital. But his talents go deeper. He's also a very successful musician, having performed over the years with several well known big bands.
"You know I can talk with people, be it mayors, senators that have seen me perform," said Pedersen. "That's the door that opens up for me to have a one on one with so many people."
Pedersen also writes children's books, five of them in the Swamp Kids series and the latest about the creation of Papa Noel, called, Bayou Santa. The mix of music and books is an interesting one.
"I did a book sale in the middle of the week and then on Friday I flew out to Seattle and I sang with the Tommy Dorsey band. I flew back Sunday and the next day had a two day book signing. It drives my wife nuts."
Bayou Santa is illustrated by Mickey Asche and uses an unusual technique for children's books.
"When I open it I say gee whiz, I'm so lucky to be involved in this. I think the art is just equisite. I don't mind people opening the book for the first time and not having read it say this is a beautiful book, I'll take it. I come back and I say, I hope you read it as well."
"Bayou Santa" is available in local book stores and at Gordon's Drug Store on Lake Street.