Solomon Islands women and the cancers threatening their lives were the focus of attention on Saturday night, when over 400 people came together for the annual Pink Ribbon Dinner at Mendana Hotel in Honiara.

Organized by the First Lady's Charity and supported by RAMSI, the Pink Ribbon Dinner is the largest fundraiser for research and treatment of cancers affecting women in Solomon Islands.

The dinner was also held as part of international Pink Ribbon Day celebrations.

In her address, Patron of the Pink Ribbon Dinner, Madam Grace Kabui, said that breast and cervical cancers represent one of the biggest challenges for health officials in Solomon Islands.

Madam Grace highlighted that breast and cervical cancers are two of the biggest killers in this country.

She said with thousands of women not having their cases diagnosed and treated, the challenges facing the women of Solomon Islands are immense.

Madam Kabui also asked guests for a moment's silence to reflect upon the impact of cancer on the women of Solomon Islands.

She said women are the reason for the Pink Ribbon Dinner gathering - whether she is a person's mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, partner, or friend.

Meanwhile, one of the highlights of the dinner was the Pink Ribbon Auction, which saw some fierce bidding for a number of prizes.

The auction of a round of golf with the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, and Madam Doris Sikua was hotly contested - with the winner bidding nearly $4,000 dollars for the opportunity to play a round with them at the Honiara Golf Club.

The biggest bid of the evening though was for an autographed soccer ball by the Australian soccer team. The ball was from the famous 2-2 draw soccer match between Solomon Islands and Australia in July 2004.

The Australian High Commissioner, Frank Ingruber, donated the soccer ball to the Pink Ribbon Dinner.

The highest bidder was Solomon Islands Health Minister, Clay Forau - who took home the historic ball for $10,100 dollars.

Marist striker, Commins Menapi - the man who kicked the two goals for Solomon Islands in the famous match, personally presented Mr Forau with the ball.

The total amount raised at the 2009 Pink Ribbon Dinner event will be announced later this week.