Team Player-- Attorney goes extra mile for a very worthy cause

By Jeanine Matlow

Legal News

David Anderson has a lot on his plate. As an attorney with Collins, Einhorn, Farrell, Ulanoff in Southfield, he specializes in the defense of professional liability claims. The University of Detroit Law School graduate, who resides in Macomb Township, also has an active family life with a wife and two sons.

Still, Anderson doesn't believe in being idle. After running a few marathons for a particular charity, he was looking for something more.

"I wanted to diversify and not work with same charity all the time," he says.

His friend, Bill Ogden, who was involved with a team called Circle of Friends, got Anderson involved with the Bike MS Ride for the National MS Society: Michigan Chapter.

Ogden told him, "Join this team and see if you like it." It's been two years and Anderson is still going strong. The team continues to grow, along with its fund-raising efforts, which have generated more money to fight multiple sclerosis than some major corporations have contributed.

The two-day 150-mile-total bike ride can be grueling, but Anderson takes the challenge in stride.

"I like to set goals and do what I can to achieve them," he says.

Besides, he reasons, "Once you tell everyone you're going to do it, you have to do it."

Anderson says he is incredibly grateful for the generosity of so many attorneys.

"I'm amazed just how giving lawyers are as a whole," says Anderson, who serves as a board member for the Oakland County Bar Association.

He also does a lot of charitable work through the Oakland County Bar Foundation that grants funds to various legal aid groups and educational causes.

"We are always looking for opportunities to help where we can," Anderson says. "We are getting involved in a mock trial program based on Sponge Bob for elementary schools."

In the meantime, the next bike ride will arrive soon enough.

"We start training when the weather breaks," says Anderson about the preparation for the event that takes place each July. "I try to run or ride when I can."

Tanya Nordhaus, team captain for Circle of Friends, has been participating in the ride for 20 years. But in 2001, she was diagnosed with MS, which prompted her to start the team because her grandmother didn't want her riding alone.

"We work very hard," she says. "More than half of our team has been on the top fundraiser list. That's remarkable. The whole team pulls together. The more the merrier."

What's really amazing about Anderson, she says, is that he got involved with such gusto.

"He is an integral part of the team and he has a great sense of humor," Nordhaus says. "Watching him be a part of the team, he so enjoys it and enjoys the people he's with. He didn't have to do this. He fully embraced the experience."

Anderson credits Nordhaus with much of their success.

"We're so inspired by her," he says. "When you see someone like that and you're thinking about how busy you are, it pales in comparison to the things some people are going through. It sort of fuels you through."

Anderson is glad to lend a helping hand.

"For me, on some level, it's just me doing what I'm supposed to be doing. The funny thing is when I'm not working toward something like that, I'm not as successful as I would be if training for something," he says. "Obviously it's a good cause and the exercise is a major stress reducer. If I can be one of the people to help inspire someone else, then we're doing something worthwhile."

Published: Mon, Feb 14, 2011

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