Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Gothenburg SMAC-down canceled; campaign for monkeys continues

NoMo and Phoenix aren’t going to be able to visit Gothenburg next week but a campaign to bring them to life will continue through the end of the month.

Former Gothenburg resident Jennifer Stauss Windrum of Omaha launched an online campaign to raise $35,000 to begin manufacturing Sock Moneys Against Cancer.

She calls it SMAC! and her goal is to put a huggable, lovable, colorful sock monkey in the hands of every person facing cancer.

Windrum’s mother, Leslie Lehrman, is her inspiration. Lehrman was diagnosed with lung cancer nearly seven years ago.

Since Lehrman lives in Phoenix and Windrum resides in Omaha, it has been difficult and much of the time impossible for Windrum to be present for her mother’s treatments.

So she gave her mom the pair of sock monkeys as buddies, something she could hug to remind her that Windrum is always with her.

“I wanted to give my mom something she could keep,” Windrum said, “something filled with comfort that she could hold onto.”

That’s where the SMAC! campaign began.

Using online crowd funding, a relatively new entrepreneurial concept, Windrum is collecting pledges so she can begin manufacturing large numbers of the monkeys.

She has used social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to get the word out about her campaign and she is encouraging others to host SMAC!-down events to collect more pledges.

Windrum intended to bring her prototype monkeys to Gothenburg for a SMAC!-down at Wild Horse Golf Club next week.

Unfortunately, she said, her mother’s health has deteriorated to the point where Windrum needs to travel to Arizona and can’t come to Gothenburg.

While disappointed she can’t come back to the town she considers home, Windrum is no less driven to bring the sock moneys to life.

“I’m still hoping to make this thing a reality while my mom is still here,” she said.

So while there will be no event at the golf course on Thursday, pledges are still encouraged.

Those who would like to contribute to help get the SMAC! monkey product line off the ground and get them into the arms of cancer patients can still do so.

The easiest way is to pledge online through PayPal via the website

Those who are not Internet savvy can contribute by sending a check to Leslie Lehrman SMAC! Memorial Fund, Gothenburg State Bank, Box 81, Gothenburg, NE 69138.

Checks should include a note to be deposited into account #944041 and must reach the bank by Nov. 28 to be included in the campaign.

In six days, the campaign has reached $9,400.

For more information, go online to