Friends of Kartchner caverns was created in the late 1990’s in order to raise funds from the private sector to hold a Grand Opening celebration for the Caverns appropriate to its anticipated impact on the state and the neighboring communities. When the state park did indeed open in November 1999 all of Cochise County joined in the celebration. Cochise County Days involved townspeople and dignitaries in a variety of parties and activities. An original composition was commissioned. The Tucson Symphony and the Tucson Boys Chorus performed the new musical piece under the stars for the opening.
Following the successful grand opening events the friends organization revised its mission to encompass ongoing and sustainable activities that support the preservation of the caverns. The current statement is: The FRIENDS will partner with the community, and provide resources, to advocate for and ensure the continued preservation of Kartchner Caverns through education and public awareness.