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Winnipeggers skating along the Red River Mutual Trail will soon be able to enjoy the hard work of a group of grade 11 students.

The youth from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI), were chosen this year to create a warming hut for the Forks.

Merlin Braun, an art and photography teacher at MBCI says, they had close to 150 ideas before narrowing it down to the "Hug Mug", which is a giant cup of hot chocolate dumped on its side.

"In the end it came down to one idea that was easy to build, and something we were able to complete in a month," says Braun.rsz dsc07363

Students, including Katya Meehalchan, have been working around the clock to complete the project. She says it has been a great experience this far.

"I think that it is important to do this type of thing because it involves team work. says Meehalchan. "Not a lot of people get the chance to do this. Just the fact of knowing that it will be out there for everyone else to see, not just inside the classroom, is life changing."

When creating this project the group decided that they wanted to involve as many people as possible. Not only the students but the community as well.

"It was one of the defining factors for our mug," says Braun. "Being able to take pictures was one, being warm was second, but giving warmth and having people be able to give and warm other peoples hearts, was again one of the defining pieces of this design."

Every Sunday throughout the month of February, students form MBCI will be at the Hug Mug entertaining passerby's, and also collecting funds for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

"We went and found a bunch of charities and found out what they were working on currently that was of need. MCC is still working big in Haiti with the hurricane relief fund. They have relief packages that we are going to try to get donations for," said Braun.

The warming huts will be officially unveiled at the Forks this Friday.

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