The ViaSat-1 satellite being tested before launch. Photo courtesy Space Systems Loral
The ViaSat-1 satellite being tested before launch. Photo courtesy Space Systems Loral

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation honored ViaSat and philanthropists Gary and Mary West at its 50th annual dinner Thursday.

Gary and Mary West received the 2015 Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award for their work to improve the lives of low-income seniors and lower healthcare costs. In 2006, they established the Gary and Mary West Foundation, now the second largest private foundation in San Diego.

Gary and Mary West. Courtesy of their foundation

Through their philanthropy, the Wests have had a positive impact on disadvantaged seniors through organizations like Serving Seniors and their flagship Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, which has been hailed as an international model for successful aging. The new facility brings more than 20 non-profit organizations under one roof to provide critical social services to nearly 600 seniors a day in downtown San Diego.

ViaSat, a Carlsbad-based maker of satellite communications systems, received the 2015 Duane Roth Renaissance Award. ViaSat is bringing the Internet to virtually every location on earth through its growing constellation of satellites.

The event was underwritten by Point Loma Nazarene University and hosted by SeaWorld San Diego.

A crowd of 900 business and community leaders from San Diego, Imperial Valley and Northern Baja Mexico were in attendance.

The EDC is a nonprofit corporation funded by more than 150 companies and public partners committed to increasing regional prosperity.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.