Family of Suffolk ALS victim to auction centuries-old antiques to find a cure

Posted at 5:24 PM, Aug 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-16 19:13:10-04

The family of a Suffolk woman, who lost her life to ALS, or Lou Gehrig ’s disease, is auctioning off thousands of antiques inside her mansion and donating a percentage of the proceeds to the ALS Association.

“When my mom [passed] away, I knew that very second that the ALS [Association] would be my life's mission,” said Emily Linzy, Viola Annas’ daughter.  “They’re beautiful things, but they're things, and I can replace things. I can't replace her.”

The downtown Suffolk Bank Street home, built in 1909, has been in the Annas family for decades.  Thousands of pieces of antique furniture, paintings, dolls, chandeliers and more line the three stories of the home.  Linzy said her mother cherished the home and the things inside, but had to move out when the disease got too difficult to deal with a few years back.

Now, in Annas’ honor, her husband and daughter are auctioning off all the items inside and donating 10 percent of the earnings to help find a cure for ALS.

“Anybody that comes in this home and buys anything, whether it's the smallest trinket, or a large piece of furniture, you're helping somebody else,” said Linzy.  “You're helping find a cure one day for anybody that's out there suffering from this horrific disease. That's my wish.”

There will be an open house for the home at204 Bank Street in Suffolk on Friday, August 24th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

There will be another open house on Saturday, August 25th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a final open house on Saturday, September 1st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The auction will take place at the downtown Suffolk Cultural Arts Center on Friday, September 7th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, September 8th from 9:45 a.m. until everything is sold.

The mansion itself is being auctioned off, and the proceeds will be donated to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.