Attorney plans fundraising Kilimanjaro climb

PONTIAC (AP) -- A local man plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as part of an effort to raise money for an organization that provides services to low-income families.

Mike Balian, an attorney who lives in Lake Orion, plans to make the climb Feb. 20-27 in Tanzania, Lighthouse of Oakland County Inc. said. It comes after Balian started trying to get into better physical shape about a year ago.

"I did it because I have younger kids ... and I wanted them to realize that it doesn't matter how old you are - you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to," Balian, 50, said in a statement. "But it will also benefit me physically, mentally and spiritually."

Balian hopes to raise at least $5,000. The climb is expected to include five days climbing up and three days coming down.

"I am a Michigan guy and an Oakland County guy, and I wanted to work with a charity that could benefit my neighbors and those I live with and work around," Balian said.

The Pontiac-based organization's President and CEO John Ziraldo said Balian's efforts are truly appreciated. Ziraldo said the fundraiser will help people that Lighthouse serves become more self-sufficient.

Published: Thu, Jan 19, 2012