Pageant Producer Reflects on His Work With Kailia Posey: I’ll Remember “Her Kindness”

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Kailia Posey is remembered by those who knew the late pageant star.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Maureen Francisco – who worked with Posey on her last competition – shared that she was “shocked” when she heard the news.

“When I first saw the message her mother had posted on Kailia, I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it. At first I thought maybe her mother’s Facebook had… I got hacked, so I had to wait. I realized it’s not going away, it’s real,” said Francisco, who is the executive producer of Pageants Northwest. “That’s where it really hit me like wow.”

‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ star Kailia Posey at her last pageant in Washington in February.

Pageants Northwest oversees qualifications for the Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington pageants for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Posey entered the Washington contest in February and placed second. She also received the Miss Photogenic award, which was chosen by the public.

‘TODDLERS AND TIARAS’ STAR KAILIA POSEY DEAD AT 16, FAMILY SAYS

“She was such a nice girl, she was so nice to our team, the other contestants,” Francisco said of the late ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ star. “I just remember her over the weekend of the contest, and she was constantly smiling and laughing, and she’s a typical teenager. The energy that surrounds her – she’s definitely going to be sorely missed.”

Posey’s mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, shared the news of his death via Facebook on Monday.

“I have no words or thoughts,” she wrote. “A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us some privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My forever baby.”

Kailia Posey placed second in the Miss Washington Teen USA pageant and received Miss Photogenic.
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Kailia Posey placed second in the Miss Washington Teen USA pageant and received Miss Photogenic.

Posey debuted on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” the same TLC show that launched Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s career.

The TLC show ran for seven seasons and ended in 2016. The show followed families as their young children competed in beauty pageants.

Posey continued to enter pageants after her time on the show.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT DELAYED ‘TODDLERS AND TIARAS’ STAR KAILIA POSEY: ‘SHE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HER SOFT SPIRIT’

“I’m going to be competing in Miss Washington teen USA in February and I’m so excited!” she wrote on Instagram.

Francisco shared with Fox News Digital that she had been able to work with Posey over the past few months and recognized the potential in the young star.

Kailia Posey, "Toddlers and tiaras"

Kailia Posey, “Toddlers and Tiaras”
(Facebook – Marcey Posey Gatterman)

“This young woman has so much potential, so much potential, and it’s just hard to think about someone with so much potential and how he’s gone too soon,” Francisco said. “Once again the family has been nothing but kind to Pageants Northwest, Kailia has been wonderful to work with, with our team, with our fellow contestants, just absolutely nice.”

“That’s what I’ll remember the most is his kindness.”

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Francisco went on to detail the type of girl Posey was and the effect she had on people during the contest weekend.

“When you’re with her, you automatically want to smile or laugh because that’s what she pours out of her,” Francisco began. “She’s constantly smiling, and I remember right before the interviews with the judges she was nervous and when she finished the interviews she was smiling again.”

Francisco continued, “When you’re around her, you automatically want to smile, and she’s just this bubbly teenager. When you see someone with so much energy, so much enthusiasm, she’s fun. ”

Francisco recalled a moment during the Miss Washington Teen USA pageant where Posey’s personality was on display.

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“I remember when I was hosting the contest, and she answered her top five questions, she made the whole audience laugh, and I was really trying not to smile too because I didn’t want to show favouritism,” began Francisco. “That’s the kind of energy she gives. Again, it will be greatly missed, and I always remind myself that it’s real.”

Francisco concluded his statement with, “She will be missed, I mean it’s a huge loss for the pageant community, for the world and so much potential.”

In her family’s statement on Tuesday, they echoed Francisco’s statement, sharing that their “hope is that ‘Posey’ will be remembered for her gentle spirit and how she touched so many lives in a positive way.”

The family shared that Posey died by suicide and that they set up a Whatcom Community Foundation fund in Posey’s name, with all contributions going to “provide resources to help students in crisis.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Fox News’ Larry Fink and Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.

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