WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 20, 2010, 09:23 AM

Competing law firms team up for a good cause

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - They say they're "wired to compete" and what they're doing is "unheard of". Two competing law firms are teaming up for the Fargo Marathon's 5K race. Gjesdahl Law Office and Kennelly O'Keefe Attorneys put their differences aside to help an organization that helps children.

Mike Gjesdahl/Gjesdahl Law Office: “My people want to beat there's. They want to beat us. That's the way we're wired.”

It is a rare sighting, competing attorneys warming up their legs.

Tatum Lindbo/Runner for Kennelly: “Used to being in a court room not on grass.”

And they are warming up to each other. What started as a friendly fight about who could make it to the 5k finish line first, evolved into a joint practice run.

Tatum Lindbo/Runner for Kennelly: “We are fired up. We're ready to go!”

Jason McLean/Runner for Gjesdahl: “I'm thinking they might not know what they've gotten themselves into.”

Followed by a joint 5K race party tomorrow, the event raises money for Rainbow Bridge which offers a safe, neutral site where children and parents can have supervised visits and exchanges.

Rebekah Schommer/Rainbow Bridge: “We were thrilled.”

Many of their referrals come from family law offices or are court ordered.

Mike Gjesdahl/Gjesdahl Law Office: “I remember the days before there was a Rainbow Bridge and we would struggle to find a family member or friend who was willing to step in to some pretty dicey situations.”

Rainbow Bridge will use the money to buy a couch and new toys and activities for visitation rooms.

Rebekah Schommer/Rainbow Bridge: “Some of our families, they are always going to see each other there. Until the children are 18, that's where they'll be together and it needs to feel friendly and it needs to feel comfortable and if we can give them that their relationships will be better.”

These legal professionals are glad to put their differences aside for such a worthy cause and already share one major thing in common. They're tired.

The party is tomorrow from 4 to 8:30 at Gjesdahl Law Office, just two blocks north of the Fargodome. There will be food, games and a silent auction. All are welcome.