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The idea that led to Friday night's Mitt Romney-Evander Holyfield "fight for sight" began when CharityVision's CEO was still in the womb and Holyfield was just a toddler.

The bout between the five-time heavyweight champ and the 2012 Republican presidential nominee raised about $1 million for the nonprofit organization, dedicated to saving the sight of impoverished people in developing countries.

That is as much as CharityVision usually gets in a year, according to CEO Doug Jackson.

"This year, with the money raised from the fight," Jackson said, "we'll have achieved about $2 million."

A recent trip to India also primed the pump, thanks to a number of wealthy guests Romney invited to see CharityVision's work. Those guests contributed generously, Jackson said.

"Mitt has been a great help to us," he said.

It doesn't hurt, of course, that Mitt Romney's son Josh is CharityVision's president.

Mitt Romney told me in an earlier interview that the program was inspired in the late 1980s, when founder Bill Jackson was a Mormon mission president in the Philippines and saw a need for charity medical care among the poor.

But Doug Jackson, the founder's 50-year-old son, said the seed actually was planted much earlier.

"My dad was just out of medical school [in 1965] and joined a group of doctors who would go to countries to provide free medical care, then come home," the younger Jackson explained. "He was doing charity work in Algiers when I was born."

As Bill Jackson continued his philanthropic services, he realized that going into a country, serving the poor for a bit and leaving did not get to the heart of the problem.

"It was a Band-Aid approach," Doug Jackson said.

During his LDS mission stint in the Philippines, Bill Jackson realized the solution to many medical crises in poor countries came through involving and empowering doctors in those nations. He launched the charity, raising money for state of the art medical equipment and then donating it — along with any training — to area physicians. The trade-off: Those doctors must devote half their medical practice to free care for the poor.

Most doctors and clinics jumped at that chance, Doug Jackson said.

At first, the charity addressed common ailments such as clubfoot and cleft palates. But Bill Jackson concluded it would be more effective to focus on one area: eye care.

Most of the operations are for cataracts, said Doug Jackson, and those can be done cheaply and quickly. "For $25 and about 20 minutes, a cataract surgery can save the sight of someone who, without that care, would lose their vision."

In all, CharityVision accounts for up to 40,000 free surgeries a year in 25 countries throughout Africa, Asia and South America. As for simple procedures and screenings, including providing prescription glasses, the number jumps into the millions.

Most contributions came from Jackson acquaintances or through word of mouth. Romney's involvement, said Doug Jackson, has brought an explosion of awareness and interest, including that of Evander Holyfield.