Gretchen Wirtz Primeau is a news anchor, weather anchor and co-host at WHOI Channel 19, where she has delivered the news and weather to the people of central Illinois for more than a decade.
Thousands wake up with her every morning on HOI 19 News Daybreak, and she played a key role in launching Good Company, the station’s successful lifestyle and entertainment show. Whether at her job, out in the community or among her friends and family, she is always taking charge and making things happen.
Through her role in broadcast journalism, Wirtz has become a spokesperson for many civic organizations, and she volunteers for a great many causes in the community. She organizes a team for the annual Dive for Cover Polar Plunge, helping to raise thousands of dollars for South Side Mission, and is actively involved with the Alzheimer's Association, hosting and participating in its walks, runs and events. Nine years ago, she began emceeing the East Peoria Festival of Lights Queen Pageant, and has since become a committee member to help plan the pageant, which raises funds for East Peoria High School girls to attend college.
Wirtz has devoted her time in various capacities to a range of worthy organizations, among them Dress for Success Peoria, The Salvation Army, CASA of Peoria County, the Arthritis Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Junior League of Peoria, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Friendship House, St. Jude, Children's Home and TAPS. She also contributes to One Class at a Time, which offers grant money to local schools to purchase supplies and other necessities.
Also involved in local theater, Wirtz was part of Corn Stock Theatre’s production of High School Musical in 2007, and has recently had roles in Oklahoma and Chicago at Peoria Players Theatre. She has also been the recipient of the 25 Women in Leadership Award, Peoria Players Theatre’s Newcomer of the Year Award, WHOI’s Employee of the Month and Illinois State University’s Alumni of the Month. iBi