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Coffee Bean Cares

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I “like” the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Facebook, so naturally, my “like” association causes their updates to show up on my newsfeed.  I was taken aback when an update came up with the last name of someone “Levasheff”.  Levasheff is the name of my Resident Directors for my dorm (Hart Hall… what, WHAT!) my freshman year of college.

What I found in the post was an incredible tear-jerking story about their little boy who has since passed and their fond memories of him at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  It turns out Christina Levasheff designed a CBTL gift card in memory of her son.  Please, please read her story, but most importatly, VOTE FOR HER!!!

See Christina’s story below as posted on the Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Facebook page:

http://www.coffeebean.com/MyCBTLDesign/ViewArtworkDesign.aspx

When I was visiting a Coffee Bean this September, Drake handed me a postcard that said “Share Your Coffee Bean Story by Designing a Gift Card,” and my hubby declared, “You should do this!”

Several precious memories of my times with Judson at Coffee Bean came flooding back and I was immediately compelled to go home and design something in honor of my boy.

Some of my sweetest early memories with Judson are of our frequent outings to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf when we lived in Brea, CA. From the time he was born I took him in his infant seat to sit and sip with me. It felt like no time before he graduated to the in-store high chair—eating crackers, fruit leather and other snacks from my purse while I delighted in my Moroccan Mint Lattes. Jud and I regularly chatted, laughed, played, and learned together while seated at a Coffee Bean signature oak table.

The big milestone of our CBTL adventures came when I ordered Judson his very own “coffee” for the first time. The barista, Jeanine, served up the perfect kid’s hot chocolate; some of Jud’s drink dribbled down his shirt, some of it spilled onto the table, and much of it covered his face, but the excitement that radiated from my beloved boy between sips is etched in my memory forever.

In fact, every subsequent special occasion when Judson received his own drink was met with all the enthusiasm seen in this picture that was taken July 9, 2007 on a visit to a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Los Angeles. What one cannot know from looking at this design is that Judson could no longer walk and was almost completely blind. Furthermore, the photo was actually taken just prior to the doctor’s appointment that proved to shape the course of all our lives…the day we were informed that Jud had a leukodystrophy and it was incurable and terminal.

It is hard to believe that just a few months later our Juddy died of late-onset Krabbe disease.

As you can imagine, this makes all my many memories with Judson at various Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs (Brea, Costa Mesa, Orange, Ventura, Mainplace Mall, Tustin Marketplace, Newport Bluffs and more) treasured gifts. And the reason for my design is that I believe this expressive photo, in particular, captures the beauty, personality, and joy of Judson that characterized his life and our time together at the Coffee Bean.

It would be an absolute thrill to walk into any Coffee Bean in 2011 and see his picture smiling back at me from the gift cards! We would be so grateful for your vote!! Click http://www.coffeebean.com/MyCBTLDesign/ViewArtworkDesign.aspx and press “vote” under his picture. It’s really that simple!

Lastly, I am grateful to CBTL for providing such a great environment for me to have made cherished memories with my precious son and for choosing my design as a semi-finalist!

Learn more about Judon and Krabbe disease at http://STORYofJUDSON.com/

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