Legal Aid supporters eat for equality and drink for justice in Durham

Sympathy for the Deli, Ponysaurus Brewing Co. hold fundraiser for Legal Aid of North Carolina

July 12, 2017 – Legal Aid of North Carolina got a lot of love on Sunday.

Thanks to the generosity of Jonathan Richelson, owner of the Sympathy for the Deli food truck, and the good people at Ponysaurus Brewing Co., Legal Aid received a wealth of much-needed financial and moral support at the Eat for Equality, Drink for Justice fundraiser in Durham on July 9.

The event featured a whole-hog BBQ buffet prepared from scratch by Sympathy for the Deli, which specializes in hand-curing, roasting and smoking locally sourced, sustainable meats. Richelson himself served as the pitmaster, tending to the hot smoker throughout the nearly 90-degree day. The feast was complemented by the range of creative craft brews offered by Ponysaurus, which hosted the event at their indoor-outdoor taproom in downtown Durham.

“Thank you to Jonathan and his team, everyone at Ponysaurus, and everyone who came out to show their support,” George Hausen, executive director of Legal Aid of North Carolina, said. “After losing $1.4 million in funding from the General Assembly and facing even deeper cuts at the federal level, it’s invigorating to know there is still a deep well of support for our important mission.”

It was news of this funding crisis that prompted Richelson to sponsor the fundraiser in the first place. He heard about it from his sister, Jennifer Story, the head of Legal Aid’s Advocates for Children’s Services project, which defends the rights of students in North Carolina public schools.

“She told me what was happening, and I just had to do something,” Richelson said. “Legal Aid is so important. Where else are poor people supposed to go?” His food truck is often stationed at Ponysaurus, so he asked the management about hosting a fundraiser. They readily agreed.

“It’s always nice to see a great turnout for a great cause,” Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, co-owner of Ponysaurus Brewing Co., said. “We are absolutely thrilled that it was a success.”

It was so successful, in fact, that plans are already underway to make it an annual event. Stay tuned!

To learn more about supporting Legal Aid of North Carolina, visit