Cough Family Trust Gifts $1.2 Million to Local Non-Profit Organizations

Bar Harbor, Maine (August 31, 2018) – At a recent event hosted by Bar Harbor Trust Services, a well-known and revered, multi-generational Bar Harbor family donated more than $1.2 million to four non-profit organizations in Bar Harbor. At the event, the Cough family was celebrated and recognized for their contributions to our community.
“Sonny and Sylvia were steadfast in their commitment to the village of Bar Harbor and put plans in place, with the support and backing of their family, to make significant gifts now and for years to come,” said Ruth Dunbar, CTFA, VP/Trust Officer at Bar Harbor Trust Services.
About 20 years ago, prior to their deaths, Bernard “Sonny” and Sylvia Cough established trusts, managed by Bar Harbor Trust Services, to fulfill their philanthropic goals. The trusts provided outright bequests and an income stream for decades to come to the beneficiaries, several Bar Harbor-based charities. On hand for the presentation of the donations were Sonny and Sylvia’s four children: Suzanne Cough Corbett, Richard Cough, Stephen Cough, and Thomas Cough. Representatives of the benefiting non-profit organizations also attended: Ruth Eveland of Jesup Memorial Library, Tommy Parham of Mt. Desert Island YMCA, Jackie Davidson of YWCA of Mount Desert Island, and Jenny Jones of Bar Harbor Food Pantry.
Former Trust Officer at Bar Harbor Trust Services, Sarah Cary Robinson (now Vice President for Advancement at Husson University), who managed the Cough account for around 20 years, attended the event and shared a few words.
“Both Sylvia and Sonny felt supported and loved by this community. They had grown up here, started their life together, raised a family and grown their businesses. It was important they give back to the community that had helped them succeed. So they began to plan how to best support their family and their community. People think estate planning is about saving taxes and planning for death, but Sylvia and Sonny grasped almost instantly that estate planning is about sharing your dreams and desires—some would say legacy—with others. They had two goals: support their family and give back to their community. Their lives had been fulfilling and they were tremendously proud of what they had accomplished through hard work and perseverance. They talked with their children about their desire to support the community, through charitable gifts. Leading by example over the years as they gave to their community of their time, talent and treasure; the Coughs passed on a legacy of philanthropy and service to their children and grandchildren. Their dream was to make their community a little better, a little stronger and to encourage others to be involved and engaged. Today we celebrate these two remarkable people who worked hard, loved unconditionally, and believed in the power of family and community.”
Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating 49 branch locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.5 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit or call 1-888-853-7100. Member FDIC.
Photo caption: Curtis Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, joins in as Jenny Jones of Bar Harbor Food Pantry, receives a gift from Steve Cough, with Joseph Pratt, President of Bar Harbor Trust Services.