Local man honored at Jefferson Awards

TOLEDO (WTVG) - One local man received a national honor Thursday night for his work to help sex trafficking victims in our community.

Jeff Wilbarger took home a national Jefferson public service Award for starting the Daughter Project, a place where sex trafficking victims can recover.

He says the victims are always on his mind especially when he tucks his own granddaughters into bed,

Wilbarger tells 13abc, "I can't do that and not walk out of the room and not think about girls in our country that don't have any of that, that don't have a caring and loving family."

The night was about celebrating Wilbarger's work, but he was there for more than just that.

He explains, "The awareness is so important and that's why this is such an important event for me"

this is his first trip to Washington and he brought some of his family members to cheer him on.

Diana Wilbarger is Jeff's wife. She says, "This has been a lot of fun we came with his entire family and this is helping us have a really nice time together"

For Wilbarger's parents, it's an exciting and emotional night.

David Wilbarger, Jeff's dad says, "Well I'm glad he takes after me to begin with. No I'm really, really proud. It brings tears to my eyes too."

Jeff's mom Arlene adds, "It's the greatest thing that could ever happen. I'm proud of him. I'm sorry."

Congratulations to Jeff on a well-deserved honor.

13abc is a proud television sponsor of the local Jefferson Awards.