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Subban pledge inspires 7-year-old to follow in his footsteps

WATCH ABOVE: Ethan Mercuri, 7, has taken inspiration from Canadiens defender P.K. Subban's $10 million pledge to the Montreal Children’s Hospital. As Global's Felicia Parrillo reports, the Beacon Hill Elementary student opened his own piggy bank so he could also donate.

MONTREAL – Star defender P.K. Subban’s $10 million pledge to the Montreal Children’s Hospital has inspired one of his young fans to do the same.

Seven-year-old Ethan Mercuri found out about Subban’s generous donation and decided to take out $20 from his own piggy bank and donate it to the hospital.

“I want to do the same thing, but less money,” he wrote in a letter to the star.

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“I hope you win the Stanley Cup, your fan Ethan.”

WATCH: Ethan Mercuri read his letter to Subban

“I like helping sick children,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: P.K. Subban donates $10M over 7 years to Montreal Children’s Hospital

“I think it’s a nice thing to do.”

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After the Montreal Children’s got wind of the donation, they shared Ethan’s letter on Facebook.

Ethan Mercuri's letter to P.K. Subban.
Ethan Mercuri’s letter to P.K. Subban. Montreal Children's Hospital/Facebook

Ethan’s mum Tracy Petzke said when her son told his family about the donation, she wasn’t surprised.

“For his third birthday, he decided not to get gifts and that he would have donations and one of the charities was the Montreal Children’s,” she said.

“So, this is kind of in line with something he’s already done, so it didn’t surprise us – but obviously we’re super proud.”

That’s when other mothers from Beacon Hill Elementary started calling.

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“The message from a professional athlete is fantastic,” said Pat Delage, the school’s principal.

“To see that kids reacted to that – and that’s what Ethan decided to do – open his piggy bank – I was blown away.”

Not only is Ethan’s principal proud, so is Subban.

“You know what – he is just like me,” Subban told Global News.

“His contribution is the same thing, it’s gonna help change a lot of lives and to help people.”

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Subban said he and the Canadiens organization would like to reach out to Ethan at some point.

“He’s doing a lot and he’s touched a lot of people,” said Subban.

“Good job Ethan.”

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The new P.K. Subban atrium at the Montreal Children's Hospital, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.
The new P.K. Subban atrium at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Kelly Greig/Global News

Subban’s pledge, as part of the P.K. Subban foundation, is the largest philanthropic commitment ever made by a professional athlete in Canada.

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In return, the hospital honoured the hockey star with a 486 square metre, three storey public space, named the P.K. Subban Atrium, located at the heart of its new facilities.

WATCH: Subban’s grand donation

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca