LPGA great Dottie Pepper pays off lunch debt for more than 50 elementary school students

January 1, 2020
Dottie Pepper has been with CBS Sports since 2015.

Dozens of elementary school students (and their parents) saw their lunch debts wiped away thanks to one LPGA great.

According to the Albany Times Union, Dottie Pepper recently paid off all the outstanding lunch debt (which helped more than 50 students) at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the same school she and her sister attended several years ago.

“It’s debt that didn’t need to be sitting there, burdening people,” Pepper told the paper.

Pepper, who declined to say how much she paid off, said she and her husband decided to do it after reading about San Francisco 49ers player Richard Sherman doing something similar for a California middle school.

Pepper said her hope is for her gesture to inspire others to do the same, just like Sherman inspired her. (She also promised to pay off another school’s debt, but didn’t say which one.)

“For some children, school meals are the only meals they are guaranteed to get,” Pepper said. “Other meals aren’t such a guarantee. They need fuel in order to learn. If we can provide fuel and a little less burden on parents, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Pepper, 54, won 17 times on the LPGA Tour, including two major titles, winning the Nabisco Dinah Shore (now the ANA Inspiration) in 1992 and 1999. Pepper has worked for the CBS Golf broadcast team since 2015, and she was recently elevated to the role of lead on-course reporter.