Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Tribute to Coach and Assistant Principal Ralph Collette


Former Burke County Schools Coach and Assistant Principal Ralph Collette gave years of his life to the county's youth. Now, he needs a hand as he deals with a tough break life dealt him last winter.

The retired longtime local educator suffered a spinal injury in a fall last February that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He is currently a resident at Autumn Care in Drexel.

Collette’s friend Jimmy Warlick has established a GoFundMe account to help Collette pay for the nursing home care he needs as he recovers.

Access the account at:

Now, Warlick is organizing another opportunity for locals to help honor and support Collette.

He will host the Ralph Collette Tribute Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the former Grandview Baptist Church at 2942 NC Hwy. 126, in Morganton.

At the event, friends and colleagues will share their stories and appreciation for Collette's extraordinary life, Warlick said.

“Ralph wants to take this opportunity to thank the over 300 people who have contributed to assist with his medical bills,” Warlick said.

Warlick invites the public to attend the event. A barbecue meal will be provided. He has requested those who plan to attend RSVP via phone or email.

Anyone with questions should call Warlick at 202-302-0243 or email him at

Attendees will be able to make donations at the event to help with Collette’s care.