Toddlers & Tiaras ' Kailia Posey Memorialized with Celebration of Life by Friends and Family
Kailia Posey Facebook
Kailia Posey's loved ones are paying tribute to the late Toddlers & Tiaras star.
Posey's friends and family gathered Saturday for a celebration of life at North County Christ the King Church in Lynden, Washington, which was live-streamed on the church's website.
A massive crowd (which included more than 700 virtual attendees) gathered to reminisce with photos, videos, and personal memories of Posey, ending with a reception and a selfie booth in honor of "Kailia's love of selfies."
Kailia's brother Jayden Kai held back tears as he shared memories of his sister, including rooting her on at pageants, just as she did at his football games. He also shared a recent memory of comforting Kailia when she was sad.
"I just wanted her to know that she had someone and that I was always there for her," Jayden said.
Since Posey died at age 16 earlier this month, the community rallied around the family in the wake of their loss, launching a GoFundMe campaign that has since surpassed its $15,000 goal, to help them cover funeral costs.
"It will be a celebration filled with photos, videos, and stories about how she touched so many hearts in such a positive way," Posey's stepfather Steve Gatterman announced ahead of the event. "There will also be a few surprises that are pure Kailia..."
RELATED: Toddlers & Tiaras Alum Kailia Posey Dead at 16: 'A Beautiful Baby Girl Is Gone'
Posey's friends have also begun selling hoodies from her high school morning show Kailia's World, after launching the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund, which will provide resources for fellow students in need of help.
"Your gift to the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund will help get much needed resources to students in crisis. Thank you for honoring Kailia's short, beautiful life by helping other young people," the fund's Whatcom County Foundation page reads.
The Miss Teen Washington runner-up's mother Marcy Posey Gatterman confirmed the news of her daughter's death Monday on Facebook, sharing a photo from last month of Kailia in her prom dress.
"I don't have words or any thoughts," Marcy wrote. "A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."
TLC Kailia Posey in Toddlers & Tiaras
Kailia's cause of death was later confirmed to be suicide by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner, as her family also opened up about the tragic loss in a statement.
"She was just 16 years old but had accomplished so much and had such a bright future in front of her," the family wrote.
"Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life," they added.
RELATED VIDEO: Toddlers and Tiaras Star Kailia Posey Cause of Death Revealed by Family
Posey was most known for her appearance on TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras when she was 5, sparking the popular GIF of her wide smile during an interview. In addition to starring in the 2019 Netflix movie Eli, she went on to win several crowns and trophies in the pageant world, and she had goals of getting a commercial pilot license.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.