The First Annual Ninja Run

ninja-run-renoThe Ryan Volker and Rose Scarpa Memorial Scholarship 5k Ninja Run is April 8, and we want our Freestyle family to be part of it. This event is in honor of one of our former students, and registration is now open at

Rose’s mother, second degree black belt and Freestyle student Suzi Stempeck, shares what this event is all about.

“The purpose of the first annual Ninja Run is to continue the legacy and to honor two remarkable young people: Rose Scarpa and Ryan Volker, who were killed in an automobile accident before they could start their lives together.

The first thing Rose ever wanted to be was a ninja and she worked hard toward that goal, earning a blue belt in Kung Fu by age ten and a gold belt in Tae Kwon Do at 22. One of her favorite past times was watching Kung Fu movies with her mom.  As she grew up, she discovered a love of cooking and pursued this goal with equal vigor; graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and becoming a professional chef.

While cooking at the Atlantis in Reno, she met and fell in love with Ryan, who was also a chef.  As a child Ryan and his brothers loved the ‘Ninja Turtles’ and since their single Dad walked with a cane as did the Ninjas’ master, they christened themselves the Turtles. Upon Ryan and Rose’s passing, the three remaining brothers got matching Ninja Turtle tattoos. This is how the ninja theme originated.

Rose and Ryan were leaving for Oregon on the first leg of a trip to cook around the world when they were killed swerving to avoid a deer. Ryan was planning to propose to Rose upon their return.

This run is in their honor and to raise money so some deserving culinary student can obtain a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America to continue Rose and Ryan’s dream.”

Learn more or donate directly to the scholarship here, and join us to run in memory of Rose and Ryan on April 8.

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