Hempstead House Transforms Into Maharaja Palace

Whiffs of incense, sounds of Bollywood music and noise from a bustling marketplace filled with scarves, teas, spices and flowers. No, this isn’t India, but on May 23, the Hempstead House at Sands Point Preserve will transform into a royal Maharaja Palace for what might be the can’t miss gala of the season.

The Jewels of India Gala is no average fundraiser. Friends of Sands Point Preserve Chairwoman Karli Hagedorn and Executive Director Jean-Marie Posner, fascinated by recent trips to India wanted to share their experiences with the Long Island community.

At the festive Jewels of India Gala, the night will begin with cocktails in the gardens surrounding Hempstead House before heading inside for rye, gin and scotch tastings while mingling in the marketplace and taking in the white horse decorated in traditional Baratt costume. Traditional Indian, as well as, American cuisine will be served while traditional Indian and Bollywood dancing takes place. Guests can leave with henna tattoos thanks to a Henna painting station.

“This is going to be one fun party– different than the average fundraiser, without being too extravagant,” Hagedorn said. “I can’t think of a more exciting theme”

image: friends of sands point preserve

image: friends of sands point preserve

Hagedorn and Posner want those familiar with India to leave the event remembering the experience of discovering India by reawakening the senses with familiar smells, tastes and sounds and that those unfamiliar with the country will be inspired to visit or at least leave with a greater appreciation for a nation rich in history and culture. The gala will honor dedicated philanthropists and business leaders Ashima and Mike Narula of Sands Point and the proceeds will go to help protect the historic site. Hagedorn and Posner hope the gala raises $100,000 to fund needed restoration projects that help to protect Sands Point Preserve’s historic buildings and grounds.

“The evening will help raise attention and funding for the Preserve’s buildings, grounds and growing number of programs for families and cultural arts events,” Posner said.

Tickets for the Jewels of India gala are available at thesandspointpreserve.com, by phone at 516-571-7901, and at the Gate House, open daily 8am to 5pm at 127 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point.