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About Utah: He sees the world through a child's eyes

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19 2014 10:00 p.m. MST

That was 75,000 free clients ago.

He’s found plenty of support for his cause. Any number of area optometrists routinely provide their services to his clinic at reduced rates, while charity-minded foundations, such as the Sorenson family and others, have lent financial assistance. Deseret Industries regularly sends him temporary help free of charge. And recently, the Salt Lake-based Intrepid Agency came on board to provide pro bono help with publicity.

In Las Vegas, a coalition of kid-friendly philanthropists — including hotel magnate Steve Wynn and his former wife Elaine — heard about what he was doing and helped fund EyeCare4Kids outlets at several schools in southern Nevada.

That’s just the start of the expansion, Carbone hopes. He would like to set up similar EyeCare4Kids outlets at Utah school districts and eventually take the cause nationally and internationally — even back to his roots.

“I one day would like the kid from Brooklyn to go back there and open a clinic,” he says. “That would be the cherry on the cupcake.”

But he knows he needs all the help he can get, which is why, with Intrepid’s help, he is mounting an aggressive public campaign in 2014 to raise awareness and funds. (You can make a donation at any Zions Bank location or by going to eyecare4kids.org. It costs about $35 to fit one child with glasses).

“I hope before I die we can help a million kids get glasses,” says Carbone. “That’s my goal.”

And his vision.

Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Mondays. Email: benson@deseretnews.com

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