Little Caesar's Pizza presented a check for $200 to the March of Dimes Wenesday, pushing the restaurant chain up to the $50,000 mark in contributions for the fight against birth defects.

"Little Caesar's contribution is significant in Utah Valley," said Dee Brewer, public relations director for the greater Utah Chapter of the March of Dimes. "We wouldn't be able to fund a number of programs if it wasn't for Little Caesar's involvement."Brewer said the $50,000 donation is a significant part of their annual campaign.

Franchise contributions to the March of Dimes began in November 1984 when Little Caesar's opened its first Utah store in Provo. Since that time they have donated $50,000.

Jean Hatch, March of Dimes division director for southern Utah, accepted the check at the pizza store's grand re-opening ceremonies in Orem. The store was recently expanded.

Steve Densley, Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce President, said, "We're honored to have Little Caesar's here in Orem. Eighty percent of the economic development takes place from within a community and we are glad to see you expand."

The pizza franchise is noted for its sponsorship of the annual March of Dimes Walk America and celebrity golf tournament.

"We are always happy to support the March of Dimes," said Troy Steiner, Little Caesar's marketing manager for the southern portion of the state. "We are heavily involved wherever we are."

Utah Pizza Service, Inc., the Little Caesar's franchise holder for the state, has 29 stores along the Wasatch front from Spanish Fork to Logan.