Chapter 50 – DiNozzo kids (דינוזוילדים) Yeladim DiNozzo –October 2031
"Anthony D. DiNozzo, Junior."
"Anthony D. DiNozzo, the third."
"Elizabeth Shannon DiNozzo."
"Leroy Jackson DiNozzo."
"Rivka Abigail DiNozzo."
"Talia Elisheva DiNozzo."
The seven DiNozzos lined up on the stage as the announcer called each name alphabetically. All seven were sporting the family trademark grin as they stood together to receive the award for Outstanding Community Service by an individual or small group.
"We're not a small group, we're a small gang," Tony quipped to the laughter of the audience.
The emcee chuckled, "Whatever you are, this family has been a shining star in community activities for many years. Please watch this special presentation." He clicked a remote to start the show as the family sat in chairs to the side of the stage.
"As the director of the Greater DC Habitat for Humanity, I can say that getting an entire family to volunteer is unusual, but when seven of the same family spend a weekend every other month helping in any way they can…" He trailed off as images of the DiNozzos came up on the screen. The family was measuring boards, nailing molding in place, painting walls, planting gardens, and other tasks at the houses built by the organization. The narration continued, "Not only has this family given about three hundred fifty hours each to help our program, but they also donated the appliances for two of our latest houses. Thank you, DiNozzo family, and congratulations on an award well-deserved."
The video transitioned to the image of the local Arts Center. The director came on screen with the gallery behind her. "The DiNozzo family has collectively and individually become an important part of our volunteer group. All of the family have served as ushers for the plays, helped with setting up art shows, and participated in open house events. LJ has become a mentor for our art camp for the four to seven year olds. He has also represented us at area art competitions. Tali has shared her musical talent by playing the piano during intermissions of the plays. And the family has been one of the most popular acts in our annual holiday concert." The image segued to the DiNozzos singing Light One Candle with Tali on piano, Tony on guitar, and LJ on drums. As the music wound down, the director continued, "Thank you DiNozzo family; you deserve this honor!"
Next up was Leon Vance, NCIS director. "The DiNozzo family has volunteered with our Christmas gifts for kids program for the past eight years. Santa Tony and Mrs. Claus Ziva have been helped by their five elves in bringing cheer and gifts to critically ill children in our local hospitals, and to children in shelters around the DC area." The image of the family in costumes outside the Children's Hospital came on the screen; all were flashing the trademark DiNozzo grin. Leon continued, "Well, done DiNozzo family and congratulations on the honor!"
The coach of the high school basketball team came on the screen, "Anthony DiNozzo and his father have been instrumental in getting our annual holiday food drive off to a fantastic start. In two years, we've collected SEVEN trailer loads of canned goods and other non-perishable food donations for the local food banks at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you, Anthony and Tony!" A picture of father and son with boxes of donated food flashed on the screen.
Finally, the principal of the elementary school came on screen. "Rivka and Beth DiNozzo, along with others and their parents spearheaded our school's celebration of international cultures and diversity. We had our first celebration in May and it was a huge success. The girls and their family played a large part in that success. Thank you, DiNozzos. Riv and Beth, you deserve this honor. I miss you two, but I still get to see LJ every day!"
The screen darkened to applause from the audience as the house lights came back up. The emcee stepped back to the podium and read from a list.
"We also should mention that Ziva volunteers at the elementary and middle schools, and at the local public library in addition to teaching a women's self-defense class and mentoring immigrant women who are new to our area. Tony volunteered at the middle school with the boys' basketball team and now at the high school with the boys' basketball teams. Tali is part of the mentor a student program at the elementary school. Anthony helps with the basketball camps for fourth and fifth graders in the summer." The audience applauded again as the DiNozzos stood at the cue from the emcee.
The local mayor strode to the podium; she unrolled a rather official looking document that she carried in her hand. "Whereas, in this day and age, to find an individual who gives of his or her time selflessly is a rarity, and finding an entire family of such individuals is a priceless gem to be treasured and recognized; whereas, the DiNozzo family has been an outstanding example of the spirit and purpose of volunteerism; I hereby proclaim the coming Monday to be DiNozzo Day in our fair city." She rolled the paper and slipped the maroon ribbon around it again before handing it to LJ. He grinned at her as did the others; the applause thundered.
"Thank you, ma'am," LJ spoke when the applause subsided. "Does this mean I don't have to go to school on Monday?"
"Sorry, that's not within my power," she replied as the crowd laughed.
The emcee stepped back to the podium, "And now the presentation of the Outstanding Community Service award." He nodded to the director of the local United Way who rose and approached the podium. "Hector Powell, director, Greater DC United Way."
The DiNozzos all stood as he addressed the audience and them; Tony and Ziva intertwined their hands. Tali took hold of her Ima's other hand and then Anthony's hand. Down the line, they all joined hands as the presentation started.
"Good evening," he addressed the audience with a smile. "Tonight we are here to present the Outstanding Community Service award for an individual or small group. As you have seen, our winner this year is a family of seven.
"This family has given thousands of hours in volunteer time, as well as made donations of goods, and cash to various organizations. When choosing this year's winner, there really was no contest; the DiNozzo family outshone the rest by far.
"A family is guided by the parents; the children reflect the values, behaviors, attitudes, and actions of the parent or parents." He glanced over at the family as he continued, "One thing that I clearly saw in the brief time I had backstage with this family is that they are a unit; look, you can see it now as they stand there with their hands joined." Every DiNozzo grinned the family trademark grin, holding up joined hands along the line.
"As young Anthony said backstage, 'we have each other's six, always.' All of the young DiNozzos agreed that they had the best parents anyone could as for, citing numerous examples of how their parents supported them."
In the audience, Gibbs, Tim, and Delilah nodded in agreement. John and Katie gave their cousins a thumbs' up. All of them were proud of the DiNozzo family and shared the sentiment that the honor they were about to receive was well-deserved.
The emcee brought out a plaque to the speaker. "We have several presentations to make; first is the plaque for the family. Outstanding Community Service Award, DiNozzo Family, October 2031," he read from the wood and brass plaque as he approached the family. He handed it to Tony, then motioned for the stage assistant to come forward. She had a large box in her hands.
"For each of you, we also have a medal, which states Outstanding Community Service 2031; one the reverse side is engraved your individual names," he picked one out of the box. After looking at the reverse side, he walked to Ziva, "Ziva DiNozzo, the family matriarch." He placed the ribbon loop around her neck and fastened it in back to the applause of the audience.
Mr. Powell took the next medal from the box, "Leroy Jackson DiNozzo, aka LJ." He strode to the end of the line to present LJ's medal to applause. LJ grinned and looked out to find his Grandpa. Gibbs signed 'I love you' to the boy and he responded with the same sign.
"Talia Elisheva DiNozzo, aka Tali," he moved to the eldest DiNozzo offspring and slipped her medal ribbon over her head as she grinned. Gibbs caught her eye and signed 'I love you.'
Mr. Powell grabbed the next medal, "Anthony D. DiNozzo, the third." Katie stood up and applauded wildly as Anthony grinned when his medal was placed around his neck. Tali squeezed her brother's hand as Gibbs signed to the teen.
"Rivka Abigail DiNozzo; okay, need a little help here," Mr. Powell smiled at the twins. Riv stepped forward slightly so he could drape her medal ribbon over her head. John stood up and applauded as wildly as his twin had applauded for Anthony. Gibbs again signed to his granddaughter.
The speaker reached into the box, "Elizabeth Shannon DiNozzo, aka Beth." Beth leaned forward to have her medal placed around her neck to applause and an 'I love you' sign from her Grandpa.
Mr. Powell headed back towards the podium and Tony. He looked in the box and quipped, "Sorry out of medals!" The audience laughed as Tony pretended to cry.
"Always the ham," Tim whispered to Delilah. "But we love it…" She nodded agreement as the speaker pulled the final medal from the box.
"Anthony D. DiNozzo, Junior, aka Tony, the family patriarch," he announced as he secured the ribbon for the medal around Tony's neck. As the audience applauded more, the entire family bowed as one to acknowledge the accolades. Mr. Powell returned to the podium.
Anthony followed him and stepped to the microphone, "Thank you, everyone. On behalf of my sisters and brother, Abba, Ima, and myself, thank you to those who were part of making this award happen. Mr. Powell, Mr. Davis at Habitat, Mrs. Schmidt at the Arts Center, Uncle Leon, Coach, Mr. Benton; I'm sure there were others that I've missed… thank you.
"We did not volunteer for the recognition or the award; our family chooses to volunteer because we can. We have all we need for ourselves, and Ima and Abba have always taught us that sharing our blessings with others is a very good thing. I think my siblings would agree one hundred percent with me that we really did luck out in the parent lottery," he turned to his parents. "Ima, Abba, thank you for being my parents, for leading by example, for all of your support and caring, not only for your five children, but for others less fortunate. I love you," he signed to them as Ziva and Tony both wiped at their eyes and signed back.
"Our extended family is also part of the volunteer spirit; let me recognize them as well," Anthony looked out to the audience. "Uncle Tim, Aunt Dee, Katie, John; the McGee family, please stand." He waited while the McGees stood. "Grandpa? Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Uncle Leon and Aunt Abby; Abby and Leon Vance from NCIS. Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Breena, Tori, and Charles Palmer could not be here today, but they too are part of our family. Uncle Clay, Aunt Ellie, Savannah, and Jason; the Reeves family." Anthony led the others and the audience in applause for the rest of the family.
After the applause the others took their seats again and Anthony continued, "One more time, a great big thank you to everyone. Now, would my parents and siblings please come forward?" He motioned to the other six DiNozzos to join him at the podium. "We have one last thing to say…"
The family spoke together, "We are DiNozzos and DiNozzos stick together like Super Glue!"
The audience erupted in applause as the seven bowed one last time, each grinning their family trademark DiNozzo grin.