June Newsletter

One of the benefits in working with local professionals – such as the Granite Wealth team – is the fact that we all live in the same area. It is likely you’ll bump into one of the team members out and about at one of the many activities in the area. We love when our clients drop by for a visit, and if you’ve got a question, give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re here for you. As we come up on our nation’s birthday, we thought it would be great to focus on things that make the Central Valley special.almonds-2117245_1920

People move to the area for a number of reasons. Our rich agricultural landscape. Proximity to the Bay Area, Sierras and beyond. And, diverse employment opportunities. All while maintaining a small town feel. There are many aspects of the Central Valley to be celebrated. One such thing is the sense of community that so many of us have. Things like Graffiti night, the Gallo Center for the Arts, youth sports, the Oakdale Rodeo, Stanislaus County Fair, the Almond Blossom Festival, and even FFA groups & events.

In this newsletter, we focus on some things that make our area special and provide you with information on how to be more engaged in our community.

The Granite team wishes you and your family a Happy 4th of July.


MoBand. Concert in the Park. These words mean more than just a way to spend a Thursday night. In a ritual that has been happening for 98 years, Mo Band is one thing that makes our area unique.

Mancini Bowl

Mancini Bowl

Formed in 1919 by Prof. W.W. Higgins, Mo Band was originally made up of eleven boys. In 1921, Frank “Proof” Mancini took the helm as the band’s director when Higgins passed away. “Proof” (pronounced “Prof”) grew the band and helped it gain national attention. Over time, the band evolved to include residents of Stanislaus County as well as women. The official name is the Modesto Band of Stanislaus County – but most of us know it as Mo Band.

What makes Mo Band unique is that it is made up of volunteer community members gathering together to share a love of music, community, friends, family – and food. The Mo Band organization is run by a volunteer board along with four paid positions.

Who can’t feel the pride when listening to the patriotic music of the July 4th program? Many of us “natives” probably remember marching to the beat of a John Phillips Souza piece. Rolling down the grass behind the amphitheater and playing just below the stage. Combine that with great food, sno-cones, friends, and family – and you’ve got one of the best community experiences around.

Concerts begin at 8pm each Thursday through July 13th.  To see the 2017 Mo Band schedule, please visit: http://www.moband.org/

We hope we’ll see you there!

Connecting through volunteering, charity, and community

There are plenty of ways to engage and connect with others here in the Central Valley. Connecting through charity and volunteering is one such way.

Why are we sharing this in a financial planning newsletter? For a number of reasons:

  • Research shows that a more engaged individual is a more healthy individual
  • Charitable contributions – giving of your time, monetary and other donations, or both – can be important part of a person’s investment strategy and estate planning
  • Our business is all about the personal contact – we believe in enriching the lives of our clients along with the community we live in.


Why should you care about volunteering and charitable organizations, and their impact on the community?

  • Make a difference locally
  • Meet new friends
  • Learn a new skill – such as using technology, social media
  • Earn a tax incentive – both now and in the future

Read below to learn about a really interesting program in the Bay Area that connects people of all ages and interest level.

A great local resource: Stanislaus Community Foundation


What is it?

SCF helps people in their charitable efforts by simplifying the process to make giving easy and flexible. They then provide donations in the form of grants to a wide variety of local agencies. And provide thought leadership on charitable giving throughout the county.

Stanislaus Community Foundation is an independent, 501(c)3 public charity.

Since its inception in 2002, Stanislaus Community Foundation has granted more than $11 million in charitable funds to nonprofits and scholarship recipients in Stanislaus County.

Stanislaus Community Foundation has more than 100 funds and more than $19 million in total assets.

Stanislaus Community Foundation has consistently ranked in the top 5% among peer community foundation for rate of return on investments.

The Granite team can work with you and the SCF organization to structure a charitable giving approach that meets your needs.

An interesting case study:

linkAges: An opportunity to connect in a one-on-one basis through the use of technology and bartering skills.

Dr. Paul Tang of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation started a program called linkAges, a cross-generational service exchange inspired by the idea that everyone has something to offer. The program works by allowing members to post online something they want help with: guitar lessons, a Scrabble partner, a ride to the doctor’s office. Others can then volunteer their time and skills to fill these needs and “bank” hours for when they need something themselves.

“In America, you almost need an excuse for knocking on a neighbor’s door,” says Dr. Tang. “We want to break down those barriers.”

How it works
  • A college student might see a post from an older man who needs help gardening. She helps him plant a row of flowers and “banks” two hours in the process.
  • A few months later, when she wants to cook a Malaysian meal for her boyfriend, a retired chef comes by to give her cooking lessons.

“You don’t need a playmate every day,” Dr. Tang said. “But knowing you’re valued and a contributing member of society is incredibly reaffirming.”

The program is not currently available in the Modesto area but it is something that could be pursued by community leaders.


Recipe: Strawberry-Raspberry Freezer Jam

As June wraps up, what better way to preserve our wonderful fruit than with this
Strawberry-Raspberry Freezer Jam. While fruit is in abundance, give it a try and let us know what you think.

Strawberry-Raspberry Freezer Jam

1 1/4 pt. fully ripe strawberries
1/2 c. Rose wine
1 pkg. (2 oz.) powdered jam and jelly pectin
2 c. fully ripe raspberries
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1 c. light corn syrup
4 1/2 c. sugar

Rinse and stem strawberries; fully crush berries one layer at a time to let juice flow freely. Measure 1 1/2 cups. Rinse and fully crush raspberries. Measure 1 1/2 cups. In large bowl or saucepan, stir together fruits, wine and orange rind; stir well. Slowly sift in jam and jelly pectin, stirring vigorously. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn syrup, stirring well. Gradually stir in sugar. To speed sugar dissolving, jam mixture may be heated very slightly, but do not heat to more than 100 degrees (lukewarm). Ladle into washed and dried 1/2 to 1-pint freezer containers leaving 1/2-inch space at top. Cover at once with tight lids (no paraffin needed). Label all containers. Store containers in freezer and transfer to refrigerator as needed. Makes 8 (1/2 pt.) containers.

Helpful Tips for Great Freezer Jam:

  • Always thoroughly wash jars in hot, soapy water before use. Then dry them.
  • Use firm perfectly ripe fruit for best flavor and set. Inferior fruit will produce inferior jam.
  • Measure ingredients exactly. Altering recipes or ingredients could cause the jam to fail to set properly.
  • Yes, these recipes do call for a lot of sugar, but don’t alter the amount. If you want to use less sugar, look for SURE-JELL For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes in the pink box.

Because this jam is not cooked, it must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It will be good for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, so store your jam in smaller containers that will be used up faster; I prefer to use 1-pint or 1/2-pint sized jars. Keep one jar in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer for later. When ready to use the frozen jam, simply place in refrigerator to thaw