Walled Lake community rallies behind 11-year-old cheerleader’s lemonade stand

Kendall Barnett suffers from severe headaches

Thanks to her efforts, a local cheerleader's dream is coming true, and her entire team has something to cheer about. The 11-year-old was hoping to head to national cheer events this summer, but money was a problem. Many of us can relate these days. So, she took the idea of running a lemonade stand in a new direction, and it paid off.

WALLED LAKE, Mich. – Thanks to her efforts, a local cheerleader’s dreams are coming true, and her team now has something new to cheer about.

Kendall Barnett is 11 years old and gets severe headaches.

“She drops, can’t talk, can’t speak, screaming, and you have no idea what’s going on, and she can’t articulate herself,” said Barnett’s mom, Jennifer Trombley. “Or there’s times when she can feel it coming on, and we can take the measures to prevent it.”

Cheerleading is one of the activities Barnett has been able to get involved in.

“I’ve played plentiful of sports, and they are all like super aggressive, and that just triggers my migraines even more,” Barnett said.

Her future in the sport was put in jeopardy when her mom got the bill for the 2022 cheer season.

“The team she was placed on, the prices have tripled since last year,” Trombley said. “We paid a little over two grand last year. This year, we’re looking at about six with travel because it’s out of the state.”

It’s money she doesn’t have, so the two came up with the idea of making a lemonade stand. They reached out to Greenhouse of Walled Lake, a business that sits at a corner known to have heavy foot traffic.

“They wanted to set up a lemonade stand,” said owner Jerry Millen. “How does that hurt me? It doesn’t.”

Barnett’s lemonade stand took off from there.

“Some would donate a dollar which still makes a big difference, that piles in, and then some would donate $5, and some would donate $10, and some people would donate a lot,” Barnett said.

Her goal was $3,000, and after a week and a half, she was about $1,000 short, but then Millen donated the difference.

Then Elite Sportswear out of Pennsylvania heard about what Barnett was doing and donated $10,000 worth of practice gear to her and her team.

“She came out here to stay in cheerleading,” said Millen. “She not only helped herself, but she helped out all her teammates, so I hope her teammates understand that Kendall was out here, in 92 degrees, busting her butt to raise money and getting them free gear.”

“I’m grateful for it,” Barnett said. “It’s just so much to take in. It’s unbelievable.”

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.