The Daughter Project founder receives national honor

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- One local man received a national honor for his work to help sex trafficking victims in our community.

Jeff Wilbarger took home the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis award for public service 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.

“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,” said Wilbarger.

The fancy black tie dinner at Washington’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel is about celebrating Wilbarger’s work, but he’s here for more than just that.

“The awareness is so important and that’s why this is such an important event for me,” said Wilbarger.

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

“This has been a lot of fun we came with his entire family and this is helping us have a really nice time together,” said Jeff’s wife Diana.

For Wilbarger’s parents it’s an exciting and emotional night.

“I’m really, really proud. It brings tears to my eyes,” said Wilbarger’s father David Wilbarger.

Wilbarger’s mother was in tears, too.

“It’s the greatest thing that could ever happen. I am proud of him,” said Arlene Wilbarger.

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